Today was our monthly pest control service at work, so I was up at 5 in the morning in order to meet our service tech at the building. The early start to page 114 allowed me to clean the building in the quietness of the outside darkness. As I cleaned, I prayed for a stillness of spirit that would match the stillness of the morning.
Once the building was ready for the school day, I settled into some time with God as I worked on the prayer guide for next week. This one took a little longer as I wanted it to serve as a follow-up to the sermon I will share at Deer Run on Sunday. So, not only was I writing the prayer guide this morning, I was also writing the outline for my sermon. The prayer guide will focus on the subject of a prayer of faith and, unless God changes it before Sunday, my sermon will follow the same focus. James has a lot to say about faith and about the elements of faith involved in our prayer life. The writer of Hebrews says that “without faith it is impossible to please God.” He goes on to say that “anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him.” Faith is imperative to a lifestyle of prayer because our belief in a God that exists and rewards those who diligently seek Him draws us to praying with expectation and hope.
With the early start to the day, by mid-afternoon my mind was fogging over and it was time to call it a day as far as work was concerned. At home I spent some time relaxing before heading the the River Walk with my family for a late afternoon stroll. There were a number of good photo opportunities, including today’s photo of a goose and a few of her goslings taking a nap. As I took this photograph, I thought about Jesus weeping over Jerusalem and longing to gather the people to Himself as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings — but they were not willing. God still longs to draw His children to Himself and give them rest — but even today many are not willing.
As I reflect on the day, here are some thoughts/lessons that stand out to me:
- The stillness of our surroundings don’t always reflect the stillness of our spirit but it ought to remind us to pray that God would still our spirit before Him.
- Spending time with God ought to allow Him to direct the flow of the time.
- My plans, even when born out of prayer, ought to be subject to God’s authority to change them.
- Not only is it impossible to please God without faith, we are unlikely to pray unless we believe God hears and answers.
- God doesn’t promise that we’ll have a smooth life. In fact, He says that we will face trouble and even be persecuted for His name’s sake. But He does promise to gather us under His care and protection if we are willing to accept it.