Day 7: Praying for grace

Secret GardenI’ve mentioned before that I really like the music of Indelible Grace (here, here, and here). Here’s another one that I haven’t been able to get away from all summer.

Due to some tough circumstances that my family has faced this summer, I find I’m more frequently clinging to the hope that’s found only in the Lord. When “everything” seems to fall apart around you, sometimes that all you can do is look to Him.

This song is like a chat with a friend, explaining what’s going on. Here’s what I asked God for, she sings, but the answer didn’t come like I thought it would. It was hard and it was ugly (or showed my ugly side), and I almost wanted to give up. There’s hope at the end, though. The reply of the Lord hints at the bigger picture. This is for your good. This is for My glory.

Read the lyrics as you listen. It’s an older style of English, not always easy to grasp. But, man, these lyrics really get to the heart of crushing kingdoms.

If you don’t have time to listen (but, really, make the time!), here are the lyrics. They’ll grab you and really make you think, if you’re paying attention.

I asked the Lord that I might grow
In faith, and love, and every grace;
Might more of His salvation know,
And seek, more earnestly, His face.

’Twas He who taught me thus to pray,
And He, I trust, has answered prayer!
But it has been in such a way,
As almost drove me to despair.

I hoped that in some favored hour,
At once He’d answer my request;
And, by His love’s constraining power,
Subdue my sins and give me rest.

Instead of this, He made me feel
The hidden evils of my heart;
And let the angry powers of hell
Assault my soul in every part.

Yea more, with His own hand He seemed
Intent to aggravate my woe;
Crossed all the fair designs I schemed,
Cast out my feelings, laid me low.

Lord, why is this, I trembling cried,
Wilt thou pursue thy worm to death?
“’Tis in this way, the Lord replied,
I answer prayer for grace and faith.

These inward trials I employ,
From self and pride to set thee free;
And break thy schemes of earthly joy,
That thou mayest seek thy all in Me.”

Hang on to that hope, Friend, when you’re in the middle of the crossed designs and the laying low. Do not despair. Keep praying for that day when you’re set free from self and pride and schemes for earthly joy. When you (we) can fully seek our all in the Lord God.Light inside the garden

 

Crushing your kingdoms, one of the #write31days blog series:

crushing your kingdoms

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The Lover Of Your Soul Sings Over You

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(Photo credit: flickr-rickr)

Here’s the thing, just as money can’t buy happiness, having a love in your life doesn’t guarantee you will feel loved.

It just doesn’t.

There is only One who loves perfectly. No other love will satisfy. Not fully. Not forever. The whole “you complete me” bit? It’s only gonna be found in one place, and that’s God.

He is your bridegroom, singing over his Beloved.

I adore this song by Kari Jobe. It’s a prayer, one that the Lover of your soul sings for you throughout Scripture.

Listen to it and read the lyrics below. There are verses embedded throughout this song, some of which I’ve listed by each line. If you mouse over them, you’ll see the phrases that are echoing throughout the Bible – a love song for you.

Soak in this prayer by your Bridegroom:

(more…)

Day 31: A Prayer For The Road

Dear Lord,

You are our Healer – bring healing to the sick, wounded and dying. Give peace and patience while we wait. Heal also the mind that is sick.

You are our Sustainer – give us strength when we feel that we cannot go on. Fill us with what we need, when we need it.

You are the God who sees me – remind us of your presence when we feel so alone. Show us the plan you have for us, so we won’t be tempted to find our own way. (more…)

Day 30: Continue To Pray For Others

Need Prayer I

Photo Credit: Matt Carman (Creative Commons)

Are you ever afraid to pray for someone? You don’t think you have a powerful enough prayer for it to be answered? That if the request isn’t answered it means you failed somehow?

Or you want to pray with someone but are afraid you won’t have the right words to say or that you’ll sound silly?

It’s a little like Julie Andrews in Sound Of Music, when she forgot the younger boy’s name: “God Bless What’s-his-name!”

I’ve felt that way at times this month. (more…)

Day 29: When The Storm Surges

I committed to pray for the hurting throughout the month of October and today there is only one group of people I can focus on – those in the path of Hurricane Sandy.

Hurricane Sandy, Oct.28-29, 2012 at the Outer Banks, NC.  Mostly Kitty Hawk and Kill Devil Hills

Outer Banks, NC (Photo credit: dedhed1950 – Creative Commons)

In 2003, when Hurricane Isabel wound its way up the Chesapeake Bay, I was in Perryville, Maryland. I know it was not even a comparable experience to Sandy, or even to Irene last year. For me, though, it was one of the eeriest nights of my life. I still remember the sound of the wind that night. (more…)

Day 28: When Life Is Overwhelming

Too much work

Photo credit: Pachakutik (Creative Commons)

Several friends have commented to me lately how overwhelmed they are with everything expected of them. It seems to become more and more common to feel overwhelmed.

Dear Lord, 

The To-Do list is growing. For each item checked off, two more new items appear. I’m overwhelmed. My friends are overwhelmed. (more…)

Day 24: Fill In The Blank

Star trails and Star tails.

Photo credit: Joe Dsilva (Creative Commons)

__________________
(Insert pain here.)

The thing you can’t escape.
The suffering that constantly returns to haunt you.
The secret agony that no one knows.
The public pain that makes everyone stare or look away.
That is your pain in that blank. (more…)

Day 19: When We Finally Give Up

Continuing yesterday’s more quiet reflection with a little Sufjan Stevens:

(The artwork in this video is by Chris Koelle.)

This song was first introduced to me when Karis Church sang it during a Good Friday Gathering. Isn’t it hauntingly beautiful?

Here Comes the Rain

photo credit: Vinni123 (Creative Commons)

There are times in our pain when we (more…)

Day 18: When The Spirit Groans

What an interesting journey this 31 Days has been so far! Before October 1st, I brainstormed topics and settled on 31 Days of Prayer for the Hurting.

I thought, “Lots of people are hurting, lots of people need prayer, this should make it easy to write every day.” Little did I know the challenge ahead.

Knowing that blogging daily would still be a challenge, I plotted out topics to talk about every day of the week and then thought through some potential focuses for each day. I decided to stay flexible about choosing the specific topic, but this way I had ideas ready to go in case I felt stuck.

Oh, yes, I love my green pen!

My careful planning really only got me about 5 days in and then things started happening.

How do I explain… (more…)

Day 15: When The Lover Of Your Soul Sings Over You

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(Photo credit: flickr-rickr)

My favorite prayer in scripture is when Jesus prays one last prayer with his disciples just before the final events leading up to his arrest & crucifixion, recorded in John 17.

What I love most is in verse 20:

I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word…

He’s praying for his disciples; but then goes on to include anyone who would in the future believe in him.

That’s me! And, if you know Christ, that’s you, too. Imagine Jesus prayed for you just before he died!

I hope you’re not tired of posts with songs, because here’s another one as God, the bridegroom, singing over his Beloved. This prayer is one that the Lover of your soul sings for you throughout scripture. (more…)

  • Hi, I'm Janice. I'm part bookworm and part creative. I love both science and music (and the science of music). I'm stumbling around trying to grow closer to God. Click the photo to read more about me.

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