Monday Prayers

love prayers 2

Father God,

Empower us to love one another

For love comes from You

You are love in every form

When we love we are truly born of You

When we love

We are conformed and transformed

Into Your image

We honour You for how You showed Your love to us

For sending Your one and only Son

To this wicked and desperate Earth

That we might live through Him

This is love

Not that we loved You

But that You loved us

And made a way out of sin

Into wholeness and righteousness

Help us to love each other until we see Christ

Until His love is made complete in us

Let Your perfect love drive out fear

Make us perfect in the knowledge of Your love

We can love

Because You first loved us

We long to know and rely

On the love You have for us

Amen.

1 John 4 v 7-19

 

 

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You Who Are Spiritual

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‘Brothers and Sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently…Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way fulfil the law of Christ. If any of you think you are something when you are nothing, you deceive yourselves. Each of you should test your own actions’

-Galatians 6

Straight talking from Paul the apostle, words that cut to the chase and cut straight to my heart.

There are many times when I see something about someone, and feel I’ve caught a glimpse of the ‘why’ behind their ‘what’. It may be an area of brokenness that infiltrates their life and compromises their relationships. A wound still fresh from the past that affects their daily lives and ability to trust. Or fears that hound them incessantly, hindering their growth and development.

The trouble is; it’s the ‘what’ that presents itself before the ‘why’. The ‘what’ of a bad attitude, blatantly rude and selfish behaviour, a critical spirit, negative mind-set or assuming the worst. These things are hard to get past.

It takes a work of the Holy Spirit to see underneath the layers of behaviour to the heart of a matter

Call it discernment, call it insight or call it emotional intelligence. The pressing issue is what are we going to do about it? How do we respond to the things we discern?

I must confess my default has been to react to behaviour first, possibly moan and complain to a close family member or friend. This is eventually followed by reflection, and contemplation of the ‘why’ behind the ‘what’ of behaviour.  If I make space to connect with God and hear what He has to say, I do something positive about it and pray.

I pray for myself and my reactions, asking God to help me respond differently the next time. I pray for the person, pray that the things I have discerned, the hindrances and wounds, would be removed and healed in their lives. 

I believe God’s intention in discernment is for us to pray for, not slate the person. To use our words to build up and edify, not tear down. Honouring who God created them to be, what He has invested in their life, recognising the greatness within.

It doesn’t need to be a long drawn out prayer, we don’t need to go digging for more information with the person or confront them with what we have discerned. We just need to humble ourselves and be faithful, knowing that one day soon we will need others to do the same for us.

Transformation of the heart occurs when we live like this. I have noticed my own heart changing towards a person during the act of praying for them. A guard over my heart comes down and I let love for that person come out. I release the need to try and protect myself.

This is spiritual restoration from a distance. Living by the Spirit.

This is what it means to be spiritual; there but for the grace of God go I …

“There are still some wonderful people left in this world! They are diamonds in the rough, but they’re around! You’ll find them when you fall down– they’re the ones who pick you up, who don’t judge, and you had to fall down to see them!”― C. JoyBell C. 

Return to Grace

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The Sun of Grace

If you have the capacity
To create the clouds of trouble,
Then God has the capacity
To create the sun of Grace.
For whom, if not for you,
For you alone?

– Sri Chinmoy

 

This week I felt I had not walked worthy of my calling. I did all I knew to do; confessed, repented, prayed, mourned in silence before God and took action. I felt wretched and longed to be free once and for all of the sins that so easily beset me. Free from the broken parts of me that surface when I least want or expect.

It takes faith to rise from the ashes. To believe in ourselves again after a relapse in judgment.

I made a major effort to put my faith and trust in God’s willingness to forgive, renew and restore. Forgetting what was behind and pressing on to what is ahead of me. As I tentatively drew near to God again I heard Him speaking. He spoke not of more discipline, or of the need to stay rooted and grounded in His love, nor the strength of my flesh.

He spoke of His love for me, His extreme undeserved favour poured out upon my life, the purpose and calling He had yet for me to fulfil. It was grace unmeasured, vast and free.

“I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion”- Romans 9 v 15

The decision is totally up to God, and His decision is yes. Yes, He will have compassion on us, yes; He will have mercy on us.

We do not have time to spend wallowing in the memory of our sins and failures. There is too much hope for that, too much future glory to enter into. There are people waiting to hear our redemption stories.

Believe- receive- extend. Believe the word of God about our sins being washed away. Receive His love unashamedly. Extend the grace you are experiencing to others.

Pardon speaks louder than any theological debate ever could. Grace is not normal, not in line with the status quo. It is definitely not politically correct.

Grace will always take the world by surprise.

It can be tempting to magnify the sins in our lives, to ruminate on them and speculate about them. We can amplify the struggle with sin to epic proportions if we are not careful. This can plunge us into a downward spiral of legalism and fear. But remember;

‘In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.’- Hebrews 12 v 4

The struggle we face is not that bad. It never will be. That battle has already been contended for and won.

Let us not fixate on what we could do, should do, and would do if only… I believe it is the Father’s heart for us to fix our eyes on Him and His ability.

To return to Him. Return to grace.

Have you strayed from grace?