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Monday, January 25, 2021

Thy Will: Prayers and Poetry

 Thy Will: Prayers and Poetry

Matthew 6:10: "Thy will be done; on earth as it is in heaven."

Will

Have you ever watched a toddler struggling with an action and leaned in to help or show the way and been refused? And then came a temper tantrum or cries of frustration?

How often as adults do we also assume we know what is needed in a situation and instead of praying, or thinking it through, we take an "I've got this" attitude? Then when it doesn't work out, or someone else has to take over we let embarrassment, or annoyance, or resentment, or anger creep in?

A strong personal heart can give us the strength to undergo serious life circumstances. But when we put our will our way above the Lord's guidance or His directions we often cause personal friction and possible failure.

Knowing truth and living into truth can be very different.

So how can we tell the difference? "I delight to do Thy will, O my God: Thy law is within my heart." Psalm 40:8 His words--His way. Jesus continually faced jeers, arguments, disbelief, and hatred, but he continued to follow God's plan in all circumstances.

"And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect." Romans 12:2

Your thoughts,

Friday, January 22, 2021

Protect: Prayer and Poetry

                  Protect

                Although we cannot see

                or often feel His presence

                His Holy Spirit

                stands guard

                moment by moment

                ready to protect

                when we remember

                His kingdom is still whole

                waiting in His power.

                His healing. His life. His creation.

Matthew 5:5: "Blessed are the gentle, for they will be comforted."

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Reflection Questions: Kingdom: Prayers and Poetry

 Reflection Questions:

        1. How does this promise from God give us a new perspective to face the repetitive ongoing man-made battles for power?

        2. In what ways can we each approach "His kingdom" within our own daily struggles?

        3. How can this promise affect our prayers?

Share: In what ways does the reminder of the protection of His tree of life give us comfort now?

Monday, January 18, 2021

KIngdom: Prayers and Poetry

Matthew 6:10: "Thy kingdom come;"

Kingdom

How do we define a kingdom? One definition, according to the dictionary, is to achieve recognition or supremacy. History confirms that concept with civilizations that have risen and fallen, and with individual leaders in multiple arenas of success in many fields. And as individuals when we focus only on our personal definition of our personal domain.

Our common impression is power and prestige--whether good or evil.

Yet God's version of His kingdom does not match man made versions.

His kingdom began in creation: heaven and earth, light from darkness, separate days, separated waters, vegetation, seasons, days, years, light of sun and moon and stars, swarms of creatures, birds, animals, and God saw it all as good. Then "God created man in His own image,...male and female He created them. And God blessed them...And God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good."

But then came their deceit and to protect all mankind He separated them from the tree of life on earth. His kingdom in heaven remains separate and whole. Waiting.

His earth created kingdom will be restored. "And on either side of the river was the tree of life, bearing twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. And there will no longer be any curse;" Revelation 22:2-3.

He will be present among mankind again. His kingdom--His power is always aimed for creation and wholeness and life. His invitation is "Come." "Let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take that water of life without cost."

Jesus opened that door again--to  live in the Lord's presence now--even in the ongoing mankind battle for power. In His kingdom there is only healing in His time.

"Thy kingdom come."

Your thoughts,

Friday, January 15, 2021

Awe: Prayers and Poetry

                 Awe

                In His presence

                we are overwhelmed

                by grace.

                Like Isaiah know

                we are broken

                shards.

                Ruined pieces

                we cannot see hope our

                sorrow too deep. Then.

                He brings restoration.

Matthew 5:4: "Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted."

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Reflection: Hallowed: Prayers and Poetry

 Reflection Questions

        1. When you realized the Lord's offered gift of a personal relationship with Him how did you react emotionally?

        2. How does that wonder turn your heart and mind upside down?

        3. When, or why, does that sense of wonder become ordinary?

Share: What word or thought do you think could help us t remember to include a hallowed respect when we talk and pray with the Lord?

Monday, January 11, 2021

Hallowed: Prayers and Poetry

 Matthew 6:9: "Hallowed be Thy name;"

Hallowed

When Moses met God at the burning bush he was told that he stood on holy ground. And was given God's name: I AM WHO I AM. The priests were given very strict guidelines before their worship and work within the temple. Especially when the High Priest went into the Hoy of Holies in the  tabernacle.

Holiness. Awe. Respect. Fear.

When the Lord came in person to Isaiah his immediate response was: "Woe is me, for I am ruined! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I live among a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King the Lord of Hosts."

Throughout the Old Testament specific people were called by God for specific reasons, and each one was overcome by being in His Holy presence.

Jesus came and opened that relationship with everyone who accepts Him as Messiah. He walked among the crowds of believers and non-believers. He brought healing and hope and holiness into our lives. And they were all amazed then.

Hallowed. Jesus includes this word in His guidance for us to "Pray, then in this way."

Are we? We often stand in awe at nature both in the daily glory of sunrise and sunset. And staggered by the danger in earthquakes and tsunamis. But sometimes take for granted His presence--His gift of the Holy Spirit--present daily. His astonishing gift of presence, and ongoing invitation to walk with Him.

"Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of the hosts, The whole earth is full of His glory." Isaiah 6:3.

Your thoughts,


Friday, January 8, 2021

Our: Prayers and Poetry

               Our

                El Olam

                Everlasting

                Moment by moment

                Mercy never failing

                Holds each one of us as

                His beloved heirs

                Creator--Redeemer

                Rescuer--Christ the Lord

Matthew 5:3: "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Reflection Questions: Our Father: Prayers and Poetry

1. How does the idea of a combined "our" feel  towards a difficult relationship? Does it stretch your feelings or give you a sense of peace?

2. Make your list of your expectations from a father. How much is measured by human fathers or God as Father? How can that affect your current family?

3. In what ways can knowing the limitless of our Creator in heaven bring healing to the grief of loved ones facing death?

Share: What other name for Father would you like to call Him?

Monday, January 4, 2021

Our Father: Prayers and Poetry

 The Lord's Prayer Introduction

Psalm 27:1-2: "The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the defense of my life; Whom shall I dread? When evildoers came upon me to devour my flesh, My adversaries and my enemies, they stumbled and fell."

New Year Blessings!

This year our beginning devotional series is based on a familiar prayer that we share often. Yet, sometimes we can become so comfortable with a well-known passage that we unconsciously skim through it. Even, or maybe especially, the ones that we consider as strong foundations to our faith walk. It is already so written into our hearts that we miss its power and daily presence.

So for the first three months we'll take a deep breath and slowly re-absorb the Lord's Prayer. This past year has brought so much tension, sorrow, grief, and confusion even within loving family and friends and hope. Let's re-absorb this prayer Jesus gave to each believer then and now. 

This study unfolds into three parts. On Mondays we will reflect on a scripture passage. Wednesdays consider meditative questions. Fridays respond with poetry.

The Matthew verse translations are from the NASB, as are the closing verses.

Thank you for participating in our journey. Please share as you discover your own questions and insights, prose, and poetry.

Our Father: Prayers and Poetry

Matthew 6:9: "Our Father, who art in heaven,"

Our

Not mine, nor yours, not his or hers, or theirs. No distinction of privilege or poverty, of age, of level of education, location of country, or language, or color of skin.

When we accept the gift of grace God offers t each of us individually we are then all together on equal ground--an internal family that is timeless.

"..you are all one in Christ Jesus. And you belong to Christ....heirs according to promise." Galatians 3:28

Father

For some of us the name father brings immediate love and memories and a safe heart from our human father. For many of us the name father brings sorrow, and sadness, and often memories of fear. Or abandonment. And never knowing why or who.

So although we believe and accept with trust God's parental character 'father' can still be a difficult barrier in our heart and trust when we pray. So we skim over the thoughts and the understanding of the depth of His love. Or try to ignore our hesitancy to fully trust.

But our Scriptures overflow with other name we have been given to use as well: Creator, Redeemer, El Shaddi, Elohim, Jehovah. Or El Olam (the Everlasting). 

His love and grace and mercy extend beyond our limited human experiences.

Who art in heaven

Limitless. His promises are eternal. We may have no way now to comprehend because on our temporary earthly life we face deaths throughout all the years. And the grief can overwhelm in histories of wars and illness and pandemic. Heaven means life. In His timing. We will see Him face to face along with our loved ones. A reconciliation and new beginnings far far beyond our imagination. Except we know we are His heirs and His family through mercy, grace, and redemption.

Your thoughts,

 
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