Friday, July 12, 2013

Draw the Circle - Day 40 - Prayer Alphabet

"Lord, teach us to pray." - Luke 11:1

We did it!

40 days!

Not without tardy posts and slip ups, but 40 posts completed.  I hope this will be a resource even if you haven't gotten to day 40 yet.  I'll keep checking for comments.  I'm usually a fast starter but struggle finishing so I am thankful for your accountability.

It's been a roller coaster ride.  I've not always agreed with everything that Mark Batterson wrote, but I am thankful that he did write and prompted me to pray more.  Not that I have arrived.  I have many miles to go before I sleep. . . .

I want to encourage you to journal or blog when you read Scripture.  Processing by writing and reflecting has helped me take in more of what I've read.  It will do the same for you.  Even writing scripture helps you form spiritual memories.

And like jesus's disciples, let us pray that Jesus would continue to teach us to pray - continue to keep us hungry.

Hungry not for the tangibles (the "stuff") of prayer but for the living relationship with God that prayer provides.

And that is what it's all about.  If you read some of my early posts in Draw the Circle, that was what I wanted us to get to . . .

Intimacy with God

The "stuff" is all icing on the cake.

But I want the cake.

And as we partake of the "Cake of life," we'll discover ourselves aligning our prayers to the stuff that God wants us to have.

Stuff with which we can use to bless others.

But let us always strive in our prayer lives for the gift Giver over the gift.

Stay hungry my friend - for the Bread of Life
Stay thirsty my friend - for Living Water.

Keep drawing circles.

Amen and Amen.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Draw the Circle - Day 39 - Holy Ground

"Take off your sandals for the place where you are standing is holy ground." - Exodus 3:5

Holy ground - the place where your life intersects perfectly with God's will - where God is present.

Moses found this moment is his calling at a burning bush - while tending sheep.

Gideon found holy ground while hiding in a threshing pit.

Peter when he went to meet Cornelius to share the Good News stood on holy ground when gentile Cornelius and his family spoke in tongues.

General Cecil Richardson stood on holy ground on a Saturday morning optical store.

Ken Gaub discovered holy ground at a pay phone at a rest stop near Dayton Ohio.

Have you had those moments?  When YOU KNEW you were exactly where God wanted you to be doing exactly what God wanted you to do?

If you haven't, you are missing out!  

Maybe you've stood on holy ground without realizing it.

Handing out water on tollgate?  or hot cocoa at Kohl's?  or giving away stuff at the library flea market? installing flooring?  hosting a birthday party?

My guess is that you've missed more burning bushes than you realize.

Because I have.  Sometimes I have the blessing of instant realization/revelation but often I find those holy encounters in reflection - after the fact.

I want more of them - in the moment.

I need to pray . . . and act.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Draw the Circle - Day 38 - Climb the Watchtower

"I will climb up to my watchtower and stand at my guard-post." - Habakkuk 2:1

In the Hebrew testament, the Israelites often set up memorial stones/altars to mark a sacred event.  These sacred events became sacred places - a constant reminder of where they had met God in the past and how faithful God had been to them.  God would command them or they would know instinctively to pile up and alter of stones.   I can imagine how these memorial altars had an impact on anyone who made pilgrimage to them.

"This is where God provided a ram to Abraham."

"This is where God brought your ancestors into the Promised Land on a dry river bed."

"This is where Elijah whipped some Baal tail."

It had to bring their faith to life.

Think about how experiential the Passover meal is - taste - remember.

This Draw the Circle blogging has been good for me - it's reminded me of my calling and the visions/prayers that God has answered which fuels my faith for the future.  I've have several places where I put down a "pile of stones" to remind me that God has been faithful.

Do you have places or events that you embrace as major markers in your spiritual journey? your baptism?  a retreat?  a quiet walk? a birth?  a death?

Pile up some stones and pray. 

And be reminded that God is faithful.

Just look where He has brought you to this very day.

"This is where Jesus died for you."

"This is where he defeated death."

"This is where he promised he'd return some day."

Watch and wait and pray.