A Prayer Journal

October 17, 2018

 

Dear Father,

If feelings are a reflection of my relationship with You then I am as far from You today as I’ve been in a long while. But we are told by your Spirit that we cannot depend on feelings because they’re fickle. Certainly within my heart there is no desire to be far from You. I have no  desire to rebel against Your word.  Even when tempted by my own flirting with covetousness the distance it creates between us is repulsive. 

This morning the problem is that I find within my heart the desire to expose the sins of at least one other. Specifically an individual in leadership that has asked a friend of mine to lie under oath. The temptation is very strong to test the new system of compliance to see how it works for an officer that,  if my friend’s reports are true, needs to be exposed.

Yet I know that that spirit itself is contrary to Christ’s example.  How does one know when “love should cover a multitude of sins” and when one is asked to “cry aloud and spare not.”

Please lead me to  at least three texts that will clear away the fog.

Thank you Jesus for Eze 16:8;  1 Peter 4:8 and James 5:20.  All extol the idea that if the desire is to save it is Your love that covers a multitude of sins.  Also there is the example of Jesus dealing with Judas and the apparent difference in dealing with Peter.  His purpose in both cases was the redemption of the person.  Ah! What an easy answer.  The spirit to criticize and expose does not come from heaven.  Criticism destroys the desire to save and heal. 

Thank You Lord this morning for sweeping away the emotional fog to let me understand more clearly Your way with mortals—a way that is safe for we humans to use—a way that brings harmony and joy.  Thank you Jesus! Amen.

 

October 14, 2018

 

Oh sovereign Lord—that isn’t one of Your names usually attractive to me—today it is. The word sovereign, brings in a new thought; an exquisite new hope! The new thought—on  this earth I’ve never lived under a sovereign ruler.  History has taught us to fear the absolute power of a human potentate. Yet in this text this morning You  say, “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth”  (Matthew 28:18).  And that fact brings only hope!  Hope because during our walk together I’ve learned that I can TRUST YOU.  John’s statement about You has proven true, “God Is Love.”

How comforting to have the assurance that the only absolute power in the universe is governed by the only absolute Love anywhere in all creation.  It was demonstrated conclusively in Your life on earth where not even the furry of demons could cause Your love to waver.  And the resurrection demonstrated potent power to eradicate our mortal enemy: death.  

Thank you for the thought that Loveand Powerare not two different characteristics of our One and Only God.  They are one and the same quality of our Powerfully Loving or Lovingly Powerful Lord and Savior

Doesn’t matter what happens in Battle Creek this morning.  It will not change Your message.    You still say, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth”  you still promise,“I will come again. . . that where I am there you may be also.”

Please help me remember that the structure of the church is not THE message. Throughout history human beings have made mistakes when placed in leadership of the nation of Israel or the Christian church—the Everlasting Gospel continued. 

Help us not to get bent out of shape trying to correct others or even ourselves.  Help us rest confidently in the promise, “He which hath begun a good work . . .will perform ituntil the day of Jesus Christ” Amen

 

October 8, 2018

 

Father God, You know that I have had a difficult struggle this morning-keeping my mind on You.

Thoughts push back to Lions meeting yesterday.  All the creative juices keep generating enticing projects that would be so fun and generate so many interesting ways to help our community.

My mind keeps straying from You. Your Holy Spirit is pushed off the screen of my mind while I play with the tantalizing thoughts of what the results might be to this or that product or project.

I keep straying from the thing that I need more than anything else—that life changing connection with heaven—Jesus illustrated by the Vine and the branch. Please bring life to this dead branch through prayer and study of your Word just now.   Please blot out distractions.

The biggest distractions sometimes even disguise themselves as Your work, “If we just did this, it would cause people to think about Your church and its message.”  “You want us to be the head not detail.”   Sometimes we quote that inspired sentence deceived by the enemy to think that we want to be the head for Your sake.  In reality Lucifer has flattered us to clothe selfishness in attractive garb.

Thank you for revealing that deception this morning. Now please send Your Spirit to lead me through Matthew 11.  What is it You want to download into my mental computer this morning?

Please help me recognize it when you send it!  Then please make me willing to follow in what ever path it leads—in the precious name of Jesus,  Amen

 

MY PRAYER JOURNAL

Real, honest, powerful prayer is so personal it usually hides in a closet - sequestered away from curiosity or cynicism. That very quality of prayer is both good and bad. It is good because it frees the prayer from sham. It is bad only in the sense that most of us seldom share the privilege of seeing someone else in real prayer. So we miss the process of learning by eavesdropping.

The gospels frequently mention that Jesus took Peter, James and John into His prayer closet. Why? Why just those three? If inspiration answers that question I believe the reason is two fold:  A) Jesus felt the need of human prayer partners.  B) They then could become prayer mentors to others.

Not even Peter, James and John were invited by Jesus into the vast majority of Christ's prayer life - just a glimpse now and then - when Jesus needed human support. From those glimpses they gleaned tidbits that met the needs of their souls.

My own prayer journal is so personal and precious no other human eye will ever see parts of it. And while it is not a model for others to follow, it does record great needs. Needs that other struggling pilgrims might be able to help lift the load if they knew, and might benefit from the effort. In that spirit I'm offering to expose my struggles from my prayer journal. If it helps anyone walk more closely with Jesus through the mystique of a prayer journal, it will have been worth the pain of exposure.

Yours in His Grace,

Elder Glenn Aufderhar