A friend was confronted by a cranky woman, 'I don't like the way you pray. You use common, earthy, language; and I prefer something a little more dignified from my pastor. Your prayers are a little too familiar for my taste. I wish you would refer to God as Thou instead of You. Your prayers are too personal."
Response: "Listen, lady, I wasn't talking to you."
Same woman: "Besides, I'm tired of you praying like God is talking back and forth with you. He never talks to me."
Response: "That's because you never shut up and listen."
I needed a lot of prayer on Sunday.
My new old truck (1996) died at 5:00 a.m. (dead battery and, uh, something else).
Now how do I pay for my trip in October to see a really famous person with my covenant brothers?
My grandfather's gold watch that I only wear for Sunday worship and weddings stopped ticking while sitting silently in the dead truck; evolving to ornamental status in my life.
Now I've got to check my cellular for the time because my other watch picks up 15 minutes every 55.
A pastor in town called to tell me that some formers, squirmers, nitpickers, and naysayers have been talking with their counterparts in other churches and conspiring against me; especially since I defended the honor of our local priest and his parish against unGodly slander, ridicule, belittlement, and other false witnesses.
Now I've got to watch my back in the community.
An elder told me about another elder who has been bad-mouthing me all over the place because, well, uh, it doesn't matter because, well, uh, you know how it goes...
Now I've got to watch my back in the church.
Yeah, it was just another typical Sunday.
Fortunately, I got into worship by 7:20 a.m., attended an adult class after that and was encouraged by the fidelities of all in attendance, got back into worship at 9:45 a.m., did a little counseling after the second service, put together some notes for tomorrow's memorial service, returned to the church for a prayer meeting from 3:00-4:30 p.m., and then really started praying about my trip in October as my truck received medical attention from Farm and Fleet at 4:45 p.m.
I watched Breaking Bad with my wife at 9:00 p.m. and the Steelers/Colts during commercials.
Truth is I was fine as soon as I went from navel-gazing to Him.
I'm always fine when I go from navel-gazing to Him.
The Psalmist is right: "God inhabits the praises/prayers of His people."
Recently, I was blessed with a "firm calm" (the words that came to me to describe it) in just about everything that I do with anyone anywhere.
I attribute that to increased intentional time just hanging out with God in prayer; allowing Holy Scripture to guide my prayer and listening a lot more than...
I have discovered my concerns/fears fade as my concentration on adoration, confession, and thanksgiving increase; noting I don't spend too much time on supplication anymore because, well, uh, geez, uh, He knows...
I don't blink or flinch in the face of the enemy anymore; and I take on its witting and unwitting accomplices with a "firm calm" flavored with evangelizing joy.
Of course, I know I must fuel that "firm calm" with increased intentional time just hanging out with God in prayer; allowing Holy Scripture to guide my prayer and listening a lot more than...
Oswald Chambers put it this way: "It is a joy to Jesus when a disciple takes time to step more intimately with Him. Fruit bearing is always mentioned as the manifestation of an intimate union with Jesus...When once we get intimate with Jesus we are never lonely, we never need sympathy, we can pour out all the time without being pathetic...The only impression left by such a life is that of the strong calm sanity that our Lord gives to those who are intimate with Him."
He offers this to anyone who will take the time to be with Him.
I'm going to have other issues with my truck.
It's old like...
I may not make that October trip.
I can use the cellular until I get another watch.
Yeah, Jesus said I/you/we're gonna be hated for really loving Him as the only Lord and Savior by people who have more than one master.
That's how, uh, it goes.
I/you/we may get some help with people who really love Him as the only Lord and Savior.
There are saints watching our backs.
And as long as we hang around and out with Him, we're gonna be just fine sooner than later and definitely in the end.
Strong calm sanity.
Blessings and Love!
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