Category: Prayer

A Christian Voice In A Changing Culture

October 16, 2012 (Pslam 4:4)

‘Upon your beds, ponder in silence NAB.’ (Ps. 4:4)

Silence is crucial to knowing one’s heart. When the noise around us fades, the noise within arises.

This morning in prayer, I was distracted by unclean thoughts. Aware of my enemy, the weakness of my flesh, and the war raging around me, I entrusted my heart to God. Then I chose to break the silence.

I keep short frequent and prayerful accounts with close friends, and work hard to ensure that my one-flesh partnership with Annette is clear and clean. God grants us extraordinary grace through our marriage. Nevertheless, I must work the program. Daily.

Friends and family scoff good-humoredly at my intolerance for immorality in the media. Who needs it? I have to work hard enough to stay free without demonic debris.

Might we challenge one another when we unwittingly stoke unfriendly fires in our actions or viewing habits? At least be true to your own limits. Turn it off. Flee. Confess to a friend. Call a priest. Fall on the rock before it falls on you.

‘Among you there must not even be a hint of sexual immorality…nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk, or coarse jesting…Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness but rather expose them.’ (Eph. 5: 3, 4, 11)

‘Father, forgive us for foraging in the world. You give us good things to eat but we still feed our lusts. Teach us to eat well, O Bread of Life. Make us strong and decisive in light of our weakness. In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, we confess our sins of cowardice and compromise. We have violated Your holy commands in regards to what we have done to our bodies and other bodies. And in our compromise we have become cowards, unwilling to stand for what we know to be true for the dignity of all. We ask that You might have mercy on Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington; uphold marriage in these states, and in our nation, as the Supreme Court prepares to rule on ‘gay marriage.

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October 15, 2012 (Psalm 4:4)

‘When you are on your beds, search your hearts (‘ponder’ NAB) and be silent.’ (Ps. 4:4)

Prayer for me is as much about examining my own heart and priorities as much as it is about crying out for His will to be done out there. In other words, ‘let Your Kingdom come first to my impoverished heart, O God’!

We can ponder according to the parable of the house built on sand and rock. (Matt. 7: 24-27) We are in the storm of fierce idolatry. Are our ‘houses’ built on sand or rock? Have we acted according to His commands in regards to the idolatry of the day? Or are we still overly subject to worldly views, or to the lusts that toss us about in the world? Be silent; search your heart.

We then ask Him whether we have done all we can to help others secure their houses on the rock. Have we invested in strengthening the weak? Are morally vulnerable ones more secure upon the foundation of Christ and His Church through our service? Having suffered so in the world, do we help other afflicted ones find refuge in God? Search your heart and be silent.

‘The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against the house, but it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house upon the sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.’ (Matt. 7: 24-27)

‘Search our hearts, O God. Align our priorities with Yours. In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, we confess our sins of cowardice and compromise. We have violated Your holy commands in regards to what we have done to our bodies and other bodies. And in our compromise we have become cowards, unwilling to stand for what we know to be true for the dignity of all. We ask that You might have mercy on Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington; uphold marriage in these states, and in our nation, as the Supreme Court prepares to rule on ‘gay marriage.

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October 14, 2012 (Psalm 4:4)

‘In your anger do not sin’ (‘tremble with awe and do not sin’ NAB) (Ps. 4:4)

How do we transform our anger into awe? Through prayer and fasting. What begins in us as unrighteous indignation can become a galvanizing of our heart for the good. Take ‘gay marriage’, for example. We can be right in upholding marriage and yet so wrong in the attitude of our hearts toward its detractors.

Before the presence of the living God, weakened by hunger and yet at rest, we align ourselves with God’s heart for marriage. We discover His truth—the truth of His love manifest through man and woman for all, those far away from Him and those near. We cry out for the marriage covenant as an expression of His goodness to all, and so begin to cry out for those deceived ones who fight blindly for the misinterpretation of that covenant.

In prayer, God refines our cries with His. He wants everyone to come to repentance, especially those currently opposed to His purposes.

‘Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to anger, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.’ (Jas. 1: 19, 20)

‘Refine our anger, O God, with Your mighty love. May our prayers be as a crucible that burns off alloys from the gold. Only prayers aligned with Your will endure the fire. Teach us to pray, O God. In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, we confess our sins of cowardice and compromise. We have violated Your holy commands in regards to what we have done to our bodies and other bodies. And in our compromise we have become cowards, unwilling to stand for what we know to be true for the dignity of all. We ask that You might have mercy on Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington; uphold marriage in these states, and in our nation, as the Supreme Court prepares to rule on ‘gay marriage.

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Outrage and Silence – October 13, 2012 (Psalm 4:4)

‘In your anger do not sin; when you are on your bed, search your heart and be silent.’ (PS 4:4)

Last Thursday was ‘coming out day’, a near holy day for the New York Times which featured a ludicrous article on how parents should do their gay kids a favor by encouraging them to come out early.

I fumed: the very ones who could guide their kids into considering a host of options are once again urged to confirm 15-year-old Jim or Sue as queer, a non-creative and destructive act if there ever was one.

I raged at the unbending bias of the New York Times, the stupidity of CA Gov. Brown for signing off on a bill to outlaw therapeutic change for teens, and a president who capped off his first life-defying term by redefining marriage.

The weakness of fasting works both ways. It can incline you to God’s purposes as quickly as it incites reactions that war against His purposes. A still small voice reminded me: ‘Obama, Brown, and the Times are not the enemy: the enemy is the enemy.’

I considered the insidious power of evil: how an alien force builds a stronghold of thoughts, line upon line, false precept upon precept, until a popular mindset is established that turns good into evil and evil into good. And I thought of all the teens out there whom the enemy has taken captive to do his will in embracing the ‘gay self’ as good, with parents and civic authorities in full cooperation.

Only Good overcomes evil. I asked God to forgive me for demonizing mere humans and asked for the grace to pray.

‘Through Your saints, manifest the Truth and Grace that sets vulnerable hearts free. Spare teens from degradation; raise up courageous, merciful healers to help liberate their progression into whole men and women.’

Join us for the next 5 days as we meditate on PS 4:4 and consider how to turn our outrage into silent, effective prayer.

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October 13, 2012

‘In your anger do not sin; when you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent.’ (Ps. 4:4)

David commands his soul and ours. He exemplifies the tension between trust and outrage, resting in God’s refuge and raging over sin. He swings between faith and fear; afraid for his life, he knows the temptation to lash out against his adversaries. David commands us to silent surrender.

This morning I picked up the front page to read an idiotic little piece on ‘Gay Couples face Pressure to Fill Cradles’, bemoaning how friends of newlywed ‘gays’ are pestering them to have kids. The rather self-absorbed 26-years-old interviewed had no intention to acquire children but were heartened by such pressure: ‘It’s another way that we feel validated in the eyes of others.’ Arrrgh!

The drone of idolatry increases its volume daily—in the media, on multiple screens, even among friends and family. The virtual world has created a war zone of opinions so fiery that we cannot help but get burned by the most banal visit online. An election year throws gas on the flames.

Turn off the Internet, submit your opinions to God before blurting them out to the world, pray.

‘Be still and know that I am God.’ (Ps. 46:10)

‘We are outraged, yes, a queasy blend of flesh and Spirit. Have mercy on us, O God. The world ignites us; You alone, Creator and Redeemer of all, have power to quiet our hearts. In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, we confess our sins of cowardice and compromise. We have violated Your holy commands in regards to what we have done to our bodies and other bodies. And in our compromise we have become cowards, unwilling to stand for what we know to be true for the dignity of all. We ask that You might have mercy on Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington; uphold marriage in these states, and in our nation, as the Supreme Court prepares to rule on ‘gay marriage.

 

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October 12, 2012 (Psalm 4:3)

‘Know that the Lord has set apart the godly for Himself; the Lord will hear me when I call to Him.’ (Ps. 4:3)

We must continuously rouse ourselves from the drone of our culture in regards to sexual immorality. Slowly, we can be entranced into accepting that kids sleep around, cohabitation is inevitable, gay is OK, marriages fail…Wake Up! We are the people of Light, against whom God promised the ‘gates of hell would not prevail.’ (Matt. 16: 18) If the culture of death fogs in the people of light, little light shines for those trying to find their way Home.

Let’s rouse each other, provoking each other to love and holiness so we can please God and manifest Him to the broken. We can take heart that a blustery, back-and-forth guy like Peter became the Rock on which the Church was built (Matt. 16:17-20). So might we drowsy ones wake up and radiate the Way Home for those stumbling in the dark.
‘Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you. Be very careful then, how you live, not as unwise but as wise, for the days are evil.’ (Eph. 5: 14-16)

‘Forgive us for sleeping in the light, O God. We get worn down by the culture and the lusts of our own flesh. Awaken us. You are inexhaustible. May we join with Peter and become like him the Rock that radiates who You are amid an idolatrous world. In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, we confess our sins of cowardice and compromise. We have violated Your holy commands in regards to what we have done to our bodies and other bodies. And in our compromise we have become cowards, unwilling to stand for what we know to be true for the dignity of all. We ask that You might have mercy on Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington; uphold marriage in these states, and in our nation, as the Supreme Court prepares to rule on ‘gay marriage.

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