Prone to wander, Lord I feel it. Prone to leave the God I love.

When I sing this particular verse of this hymn, I can’t help but close my eyes and bow my head in shame because it is true. So easily do I just wander away from Him. And I don’t think I do it on purpose. It is more like a boat that isn’t anchored that just floats away and just heads in all kinds of directions. Never on purpose, but always surrendering to its circumstance. Thankfully, whether I feel lost or floating about in my spiritual life, the truth is that He is the One who has me anchored to Himself and I am assured that He will never let me go. (John 10:29)

One way that I feel anchored again (remembering that regardless of my feelings, my salvation doesn’t ebb away) is through prayer. And I know that sounds so “cliche” and so easy of a fix, but truly there is nothing (outside of Scripture) that hones in my heart to match His as prayer can do.

Prayer sifts out my sin.
When life gets busy, sin can easily hide. When life gets idle, sin comes out to play. Regardless if I am confessing a besetting sin or if the Holy Spirit is revealing one to me, prayer allows me to be more aware of the sin that grieves God and brings me to the cross gladdening my heart for He is always faithful to forgive. (James 5:16)

Prayer brings me to the throne
When I think that I am approaching the King of kings in prayer and I am not going to die I am left speechless. There are no words to describe that a Gentile woman can enter the Holy of Holies and worship. (Heb. 4:16) Prayer allows me to worship Him privately.

Prayer reminds me that I have love to give
When I read my prayer list and pray for those on it, I am reminded of people who are hurting, lonely, lost or feeling loss. It triggers me to make a phone call, bake some cookies, write a letter, type out a text, send a facebook message, or make a house visit. Prayer beckons me to be His hands, feet, shoulders, arms and voice.

Prayer softens my heart
Some people are hard to love and some people are even harder. When I honestly pray for those that hurt me or those that hurt the people I love, God does something amazing. He softens my heart towards them and they begin to have less control over me and my feelings. And in the rare occasions when I have trouble “forgiving”, God always reminds me of the dastardly things He has forgiven me for already. 🙂

Prayer is therapeutic
My overbearing mother, my passive father, my annoyance with my ex-husband, the attitudes of my children, my lack of wanting intimacy, my self-esteem, that thing I do that I don’t want to mention here and so, so much more; I have brought to God. And He truly has helped me figure so much out. It is through prayer that we are given wisdom. (James 1:5) So many times I have come to God bawling my eyes out, completely overtaken by despair, and patiently He has brought to mind Scripture that overtakes my moments of sorrow or pain. I have also come to him lost, in a rage, scared for my life, indecisive, numb, depressed, raw and feeling so many other things. I have also been given the peace that transcends understanding, and it was always after time spent with Him in prayer. (Phil. 4:7) Who better to tell me about myself and how to handle a certain situation than the One who created me and was with me throughout my entire life? (Jer. 33:3)

I want to encourage you to take time to pray. If you are not sure how to, Jesus Himself teaches us how to pray in Matthew 6:5-15. Also we can read Jesus’ prayer before he was captured in John 17. And what is so amazing about this prayer is that in it you can read where Jesus is praying for you!!!!! (see verses 20-21 of that same chapter), and He is still praying for you! The Son of God prays for you! So let us imitate Him and pray.

 . . . . For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. ~ Romans 8: 26-27

Benefits of Prayer

I vo(mi)ted

(originally posted on November 1, 2016)
I still do not know who I will vote for in this coming election. I still think when I am at the voting booth with my daughter (I usually take her with me) I will pray and make my decision then. I have family and friends who all have given me their opinion and I truly believe all of them have made valid arguments for their choice for president. One thing I have done less of though is worry. As Christians, anxiety is a sin. Jesus advises us not to be anxious (Matthew 6:25-34). We must remember that this is not our home (Hebrews 13:14) and we look forward to the day God returns (2 Peter 3:12-13).

When all my favorite primary candidates lost, I really felt like all hope was gone. That hope dwindled more as we were left with Donald Trump as the Republican candidate. And it practically died when I saw how many Christians defended Mr. Trump’s way of living. I may pull the lever for Mr. Trump come November 8th, but something I will never do is minimize what an awful human being he is. But this post really isn’t about the election, it is more about a snippet I heard on the radio about a news show called “Morning Joe”. I first want to admit that I honestly almost live in a cave when it comes to “normal TV”. We have Netflix, Amazon and DVD’s. That’s about it when it comes to TV. The “news” I get usually comes from a podcast, the radio or a youtube channel. If I want local news I get that from the ladies who sit in my church pew or the police scanner. Don’t get me wrong, I have tried fox news, msnbc, and other places, but the agendas they push are so blatant sometimes that I can’t help but wonder how “fair and balanced” they really are. And occasionally I really think they believe I do not have a brain of my own and could never rationally come to my own conclusion, so they must insert their opinions because I could not possibly have any of my own. But back to worrying. I refuse to worry about this election. I am anti-worry. Because when I worry, even slightly, I have diminished the colossal, absolute and total power that God has over His creation. I trust Him, and I lie that I trust Him when I worry. The kingdom of God is eternal (Matt. 16:18, Heb. 1:8). His church will prevail (Matt. 16:18). And God is just, compassionate, long-suffering, loving, good, all-knowing, all-powerful, almighty, etc (the whole Bible)! So my dear brothers and sisters, let us rest in those promises, do what the Holy Spirit has prompt you to do regarding your vote, and continue with your active faith of loving God and loving others. Let Him deal with the consequences. (Please don’t get me wrong when I say I am anti-worry. I am not advocating fatalism or unproductive passivity)

Being a conservative who leans libertarian, I recognize that I have my own set of biases and stereo-types. I believe that Christians tend to lean to the right of center and I am surprisingly almost always shocked when I meet a Christian democrat. I know! I know! I know there are Christian democrats who truly love the Lord, but I am always slightly shocked by it okay! I’m trying to be honest here! Saying this, I also have my biases on msnbc and shows like Morning Joe where I know they are left leaning. But, I want to give credit where credit is due. On yesterday’s “Morning Joe”, Mika Brzezinski said some things that were very noble of her. So I looked her up some more and, needless to say, she and I have almost nothing in common when it comes to our views on politics and government, but what she said yesterday regarding Hillary Clinton’s latest FBI investigation and Mika’s own media peers was vitalizing. I have provided the video below so  you can see it for yourself.

Wasn’t that just awesome of her and Joe to say that? I know some Christian Trump supporters who aren’t as honest as they were just there! She admitted to her own hypocrisy. Something very difficult to see in ourselves. Something Christians on “my side” refuse to see in themselves.

I believe that all of us have been made in the image of God. That we are more precious than the plants or the animals. That we are even more special than the angels because nothing else carries with them the image of God. Nothing. During presidential election years, we tend to forget that sometimes. We fail to see the personhood of an individual because we do not agree with their politics, their religion, or their ideas. Their humanity is stripped away because of their voting tendencies or frankly because of the sin in their life. Just because someone acts out in their flesh, doesn’t make them any less an image bearer. And just because someone doesn’t agree with me, doesn’t make them any less a human created by God. I must remember this when someone comes along with an idea that I believe to be wrong even if they are wrong because God says they’re wrong. There is a way to converse with people and if the conversation leads to nothing, we are still called to love and serve each other, in humility, not thinking anyone is better than the other (Phil. 2:3). Even if we have the truth, there is a way to speak the truth. Obviously, we cannot make everyone happy. Obviously some people will become upset. Obviously, some people will hate us, but let them have to try really hard to do so.

I leave you with this verse found in Titus 2:7-8:
In everything, show yourself to be an example by doing good works. In your teaching show integrity, dignity, and wholesome speech that is above reproach, so that anyone who opposes us will be ashamed to have nothing bad to say about us.