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Posts Tagged ‘feelings’

Prayer & Perspective

A verse that I’ve thought of on and off lately is the Lord’s Prayer – or as I like to call it ‘The Disciple’s Prayer’ – since Jesus gave the prayer to his followers as a guideline of how they should pray; Jesus already knew how to pray. I’ve always thought of prayer as something more than “special wording meant for Jesus.” It’s a personal thing; and that’s how God intended prayer to be – he wants your true thoughts and word, coming straight from your heart. A prayer shouldn’t be something you memorize and recite each night; it shouldn’t be like a script for then it loses its whole meaning.

I am only using the first four verses of the passage (Matthew 6:5-9), but the whole passage can be found in Matthew 6:5-18. I use the ESV version for verses.

“And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward,” (vs. 5).

Pause there for a second. Before I go on, I want to point out these lines alone, are the first verse. This is a crucial verse. For oh-so-often, too many Christians get caught up in themselves – believing they know it all. The modern day “Little Christ” is not like the early, first Christians. “Little Christ” is what Christian means – it was coined when the first disciples were teaching, and actually the word Christian or “Little Christ” was meant as an insult.

The modern day Christians often think highly of themselves; thinking of how much better off they are because they know Christ and others don’t. They don’t care about the poor and needy – their focus is on money, while they teach Jesus’ sermons on how to care for the poor, broken-hearted, and lost souls. This is wrong, wrong, wrong; the opposite of how a Christian is supposed to act. Sadly, by preaching and having people look at them and either marvel or scoff, they get their reward of satisfaction. They are not true Christians – they do not live up to the definition of a “Little Christ.” Because these Christians are so caught in themselves they do not receive or get to experience the amazing wonders, things, and feelings that Jesus has to offer us.

“But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who is in secret will reward you. And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him,” (vs. 6-8).

It is true, often it is the short, simple things that work best. Long, drawn ouutttt things make people lose interest, especially if they aren’t to the point. When people ramble on and just add “fluff,” they really don’t know what they are talking about. As it says in (some concordance to) verse 7, they are just wasting their breath and their words are “heap[ing] up [like] empty phrases” – they have no meaning.

God knows what is on our hearts and minds, he’s more than aware of our needs – but he also knows that we need a way to communicate our feelings, needs, and what is on our minds and hearts to him (not just other people). He gave us a way to do so: prayer. This, to me personally, meant so much, knowing I had a way to connect to my Father in heaven. Knowing there was someone, someone who was so powerful and perfect, was always there for a sinful ridden and hurting person like me… is just indescribable. He always listened. He always comforted in some way. He won’t tell anyone. And to me, that meant a lot, as my trust to certain people has been cut. I know that when I can’t find the words to express how I’m am feeling – he knows exactly what I’m feeling and going through. All I have to say in my mind, in the quiet of my room, is: “Father, help me – you know my heart and thoughts. Please help me to get over this painful feeling that’s tearing me apart in an indescribable way.”

He’ll always listen to you in your hardest moments.

It is comforting to know that my Father knows what I need before I ask him, that relationship between Father and daughter (or son) is unbreakable and imaginable by people who don’t truly know what it is like to know such a force. Those people who stand on the streets proclaiming out loud don’t hear when God calls them, like we do, they don’t hear it because of all the noise they’re making. For God doesn’t normally communicate in the form of a thunderstorm (per-say) – loud and noisy, but he comes like a soft wind, blowing gently. Only those who are quiet and listen can hear it.

When God calls to those lost people out proclaiming on the streets or elsewhere, they don’t hear him, or if they do, they ignore him. Even when fellow believers try to humbly point out that their ways are wrong or try to kindly help them in the right direction, they most often push them off. They point their finger at them, saying they are the wrong-doers; they are the false believers. And it is sad, but it is reality. We live in a fallen world and we are waiting desperately for our Savior to return to take us home.

Our Lord is like a shepherd – he calls and pulls us back when we are lost. He is most persistent and never gives up, even with those who are stubborn. But there are cases when flesh must die and their time to be redeemed runs out or the sheep don’t want to live under the wing of their shepherd. They believe there is something better; they get lost in the ways of the world.

I hope you all got as much as I did out of this verse – if not more.

I am no longer eager, bold, and strong

  All that is past; I am ready not to do

At last, at last, 

  My half day’s work is done,

And this is all my part,

  I give a patient God

My patient heart.

p 265, March by Geraldine Brooks

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God is Love, pretty simple right? God = Love, basic grammar. But what is love? Is it that mushy feeling when you see a cute guy? Or is it the way your parents feel about each other? Or what about those shoes that you saw in the mall?  We use this word pretty freely today.  We use it when we like something a lot, like shoes or an artist.

The Webster defines love to be- Sex, warm affection, devotion, a deep desire of something, a beloved person, great affection, liking something, enamor or in love…

Now according to this we have the use of love down pretty well don’t we? But this is our society’s view of love. Notice how SEX is on the apex???

So if God is love, then is he sex? Of course not! See how bad we have messed this word up? We have turned Love Himself into something he is not! Now between husband and wife this could be included, but that wouldn’t be first or even third. First should be love. Which God tells us, from the Bible, is-

Love is patient,

Love is kind,

Love does not envy,

Love does not boast,

Love is not proud,

Love is not rude,

Love is not self-seeking,

Love is not easily angered,

Love keeps no records of wrong,

Love hates evil, but Love rejoices with truth; it always protects, always trusts, always perseveres.  (1Cor. 13: 4-7)

WOW! That’s pretty profound if you think about it. But hang on. Not once did I see the dictionaries definition of it… See, if you truly love a person, this is what it should be first and foremost in the relationship; the rest will fall into place. You see, love isn’t a feeling or emotion; it is an act, if done repeatedly, becomes a habit that should outline your character.

Emotions and feelings follow Love. Love does not follow emotions and feelings

This is what Love himself is. God is our prime example of love. See why so many people get divorced? Have broken and splintered hearts? It’s because they go by today’s version of love.  I don’t care if you think the new boy in math class is cute. Stop and think; make it like a check list. It will clear your head. But this is God’s love for us. A clear, pure, unfailing love.  And this should be the type of love for everyone. No exceptions for that certain person. Because once that mushy feeling gets bypassed, if you don’t have God’s love for the person, you’ve just wasted and possibly lost a friendship.

So do you see how dedicated God is to us? In Marriage vows it says, through thick and thin, now it’s not just talking about unsteady times when you guys don’t have a lot of money, it’s also talking about those times when ya’ll are angry at each other, loathe each other, or you don’t feel drawn to that person. If our world’s view of love is true, then that’s when you sign the divorce papers. God will never sign off on our relationship with him! Even when we hate him, he loves us. We have bashed Him, denied Him, and we don’t deserve His Love.  But he gave his son so he could continue to love and serve us.  Love, in short, is a servant’s heart. That is why God should be our definition of love. Not the world’s view, because

God = Love.

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