National Day of Prayer.
Today, I am contemplating this quote from Charles Spurgeon .... and Psalm 63.
Thinking .... and praying through both. For God to purify our hearts and our desires. To move us away from the busy work of intercession and to move us into the resting place of FAITH in our great and mighty God.
It is not what we do - it is ALL about who He is and what He has done.
"There are times when solitude is better than society, and silence is wiser than speech. We should be better Christians if we were more alone, waiting upon God, and gathering through meditation on His Word spiritual strength for labour in his service. We ought to muse upon the things of God, because we thus get the real nutriment out of them. . . .
.... Why is it that some Christians, although they hear many sermons, make but slow advances in the divine life? Because they neglect their closets, and do not thoughtfully meditate on God's Word. They love the wheat, but they do not grind it; they would have the corn, but they will not go forth into the fields to gather it; the fruit hangs upon the tree, but they will not pluck it; the water flows at their feet, but they will not stoop to drink it. From such folly deliver us, O Lord. . . .” - Charles Spurgeon.
PSALM 63 - A Psalm of David
O God, you are my God;
I earnestly search for you.
My soul thirsts for you;
my whole body longs for you
in this parched and weary land
where there is no water.
I have seen you in your sanctuary
and gazed upon your power and glory.
Your unfailing love is better than life itself;
how I praise you!
I will praise you as long as I live,
lifting up my hands to you in prayer.
You satisfy me more than the richest feast.
I will praise you with songs of joy.
I lie awake thinking of you,
meditating on you through the night.
Because you are my helper,
I sing for joy in the shadow of your wings.
I cling to you;
your strong right hand holds me securely.
But those plotting to destroy me will come to ruin.
They will go down into the depths of the earth.
They will die by the sword
and become the food of jackals.
But the king will rejoice in God.
All who trust in him will praise him,
while liars will be silenced.
God, it is my prayer for our nation and for our world to earnestly desire YOU ... for who YOU are ..... and not just what You can do for us.
God, I know it is our tendency to come to You in crisis, to want You to fix our problems, to want You to rescue us from trouble, from spiritual warfare, or from whatever it is we face each day.
I know You love when we come to You ... to talk with You, to process life with You. But God, help us to want to come to You - really want to know You.
To know you intimately as Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
To know what makes You happy, what brings You sadness. What makes You laugh and what makes You weep.
Help us to know what makes You want to move powerfully on our behalf. What brings You pleasure and what makes You angry.
Help us to know how You feel about people, what You are thinking about them and how we can partner with Your heart and Your thoughts in all that we do.
Yes, help us to know how You feel about us. Scripture says, to love others AS WE love ourselves. So knowing how You feel about us is key to the impact we will make as we touch the lives of others.
Yes, God. Help us to want You. I know for me, the times when my kids come to me just to hang out and to talk about life are so much different then when they come to me to try and get something from me. Not that one is wrong - it is just very different - relationally.
If I can tell the difference, I am sure you can tell the difference when we come to You with our self-motivated prayers and driven by wanting You to fulfill our selfish ambitions!
Intimacy and conversation about life, about coaching them in decisions they have to make, sharing life with them, helping them to gain a Godly perspective of something - it is just so much different than when they come to me wanting something. Even using manipulation at times. We all do it. Even in our prayers to You. We can be selfish and manipulative. And then when things don't go our way - we have a tantrum and blame You God. Purify us of that. Purify us of self-god in all it's forms.
This is my prayer. Intimacy. Restoration. The Garden. Your will.
Help us as a nation and as a world to want to know You, to hunger for You, to see You in Your sanctuary, to spend time gazing on You - yes, to focus on beholding You ... and on becoming like You in all that we do.
Help us to get into Your Word to meditate on You! Help rid us of our selfish ambitions - even those which look righteous on the outside!
To know Your love which is better than life itself, to praise You, to overflow with gratitude for everything in life- the good, the bad and the ugly - may our lips give praise and thanksgiving to You - always. Easier said than done - but help move us to this place.
Yes, to live to contemplate You - to think about You day and night - to truly know and trust You are our helper in every moment of every day.
People often say - if we are too heavenly focused we can do no earthly good. This is hogwash. How can we know the heart and will of God for us, for our families, or for our ministries if we don't take the time to think about You and to know You?
David, who was a KING and a major leader - said - ALL DAY and NIGHT - I think about my God! Can't get much more heavenly focused than that - and He was known as a man after God's own heart! To be heavenly focused means we are wanting to know the will of the Father. If Jesus had to be heavenly focused and to pray - than I think He is the best role model to follow.
Help us God to be like David in our prayer life.
To remember no matter how big or how little the issue is before us - You do care.
Yes, to truly want You even more than our intercessions and supplications, even more than our busyness to save the world. These are all good but let them not come before You.
Let us see the value of waiting on You - to be filled with You - so that when we do move, we are moving from You ... from LIFE and not from self-effort.
No God AND. Just GOD. As AW Tozer would say in his book, "The Pursuit of God". Like Moses, may our cry be - "I am not going anywhere without Your presence God!"
Yes God, help us to come back to the living from the garden. From the finished work of the cross. From grace. From the place of intimacy with our creator. Help us to cast off the counterfeit cross of works and to embrace the work of grace.
Help us to walk BY FAITH in all that You've done.
Jesus, You made a pathway back to intimacy. Help us to understand sonship. Help us to know we are a daughter or a son.
Help us to truly know the words of Ephesians chapter one - chosen, adopted, beloved, wanted, adored - yes, to know what it is to be a child of God, to have an inheritance, to sit with him in heavenly places.
Help us to marinate in this Truth and help us to see others and know others through the mind of Christ.
Help us God to desire you and to know you above all else. Philipiians 3:7-11. If Paul who radically changed the world - said everything to him was garbage and meaningless compared to knowing you - let this be our same prayer as well.
That we would know You intimately, the One who holds us securely, the One who holds our soul securely even in death, and that we would rest in Your love and that we would walk boldly in Your will ... like Jesus who only did and said what the Father told him to do. John 12:49-50. Amen.