Teaching us to pray

The other day we (Mommy, Dasi, and I) were at the store playing a fun game of “can you say?”. Which involves us asking Hadassah if she can say various things, and us parents getting a kick out of her echoing words back to us. After going through, dress, hair, and boogers (a daddy word for sure) we gave her “booboo” she got the first “boo” down so we tried to connect that to a word she already knew “ouchie”. H being the bright girl she is, held her leg while saying “ouch”. Mommy looked to see what was hurting her and in that Mommy brilliance takes a moment to teach our little one how to pray.

She kept it simple, “Jesus all better amen”. And in Dasi, “Jesush all done amen”.

It was so simple yet brilliant. It’s not just how babies should pray but all of us. No need for extra fluff. Just call on his name and trust that it will be done.

Vision

What’s your life vision? We need one to get through life with some sense of purpose. Living just to eat, just to survive, is not living. Animals do that. God made us in his image as noble creatures with great creative ability. Take a few minutes to write your vision down. This one comes from 24-7 Prayer.

The Vision
So this guy comes up to me and says “what’s the vision? What’s the big idea?” I open my mouth and words come out like this… The vision?

The vision is JESUS – obsessively, dangerously, undeniably Jesus.

The vision is an army of young people.

You see bones? I see an army. And they are FREE from materialism.

They laugh at 9-5 little prisons. They could eat caviar on Monday and crusts on Tuesday. They wouldn’t even notice. They know the meaning of the Matrix, the way the west was won. They are mobile like the wind, they belong to the nations. They need no passport.. People write their addresses in pencil and wonder at their strange existence. They are free yet they are slaves of the hurting and dirty and dying. What is the vision ? The vision is holiness that hurts the eyes. It makes children laugh and adults angry. It gave up the game of minimum integrity long ago to reach for the stars. It scorns the good and strains for the best. It is dangerously pure.

Light flickers from every secret motive, every private conversation. It loves people away from their suicide leaps, their Satan games. This is an army that will lay down its life for the cause. A million times a day its soldiers choose to lose that they might one day win the great ‘Well done’ of faithful sons and daughters.

Such heroes are as radical on Monday morning as Sunday night. They don’t need fame from names. Instead they grin quietly upwards and hear the crowds chanting again and again: “COME ON!”

And this is the sound of the underground The whisper of history in the making Foundations shaking Revolutionaries dreaming once again Mystery is scheming in whispers Conspiracy is breathing… This is the sound of the underground

And the army is discipl(in)ed.

Young people who beat their bodies into submission.

Every soldier would take a bullet for his comrade at arms. The tattoo on their back boasts “for me to live is Christ and to die is gain”.

Sacrifice fuels the fire of victory in their upward eyes. Winners. Martyrs. Who can stop them ? Can hormones hold them back? Can failure succeed? Can fear scare them or death kill them ?

And the generation prays like a dying man with groans beyond talking, with warrior cries, sulphuric tears and with great barrow loads of laughter! Waiting. Watching: 24 – 7 – 365.

Whatever it takes they will give: Breaking the rules. Shaking mediocrity from its cosy little hide. Laying down their rights and their precious little wrongs, laughing at labels, fasting essentials. The advertisers cannot mould them. Hollywood cannot hold them. Peer-pressure is powerless to shake their resolve at late night parties before the cockerel cries.

They are incredibly cool, dangerously attractive inside.

On the outside? They hardly care. They wear clothes like costumes to communicate and celebrate but never to hide. Would they surrender their image or their popularity? They would lay down their very lives – swap seats with the man on death row – guilty as hell. A throne for an electric chair.

With blood and sweat and many tears, with sleepless nights and fruitless days, they pray as if it all depends on God and live as if it all depends on them.

Their DNA chooses JESUS. (He breathes out, they breathe in.) Their subconscious sings. They had a blood transfusion with Jesus. Their words make demons scream in shopping centres. Don’t you hear them coming? Herald the weirdo’s! Summon the losers and the freaks. Here come the frightened and forgotten with fire in their eyes. They walk tall and trees applaud, skyscrapers bow, mountains are dwarfed by these children of another dimension. Their prayers summon the hounds of heaven and invoke the ancient dream of Eden.

via Seth Barnes

What’s your life vision? We need one to get through life with some sense of purpose. Living just to eat, just to survive, is not living. Animals do that. God made us in his image as noble creatures with great creative ability. Take a few minutes to write your vision down. This one comes from 24-7 Prayer.

Where did this come from?

You have to understand, I’ve been a Christian since the age of 5, and I’ve been through classes where we focused on the book of John, so I’m assuming that someone just added the 17th chapter of John. Cause I don’t remember reading anything like this before*:

John 17

The Prayer of Jesus

1 After saying all these things, Jesus looked up to heaven and said, “Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son so he can give glory back to you. 2 For you have given him authority over everyone. He gives eternal life to each one you have given him. 3 And this is the way to have eternal life—to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, the one you sent to earth. 4 I brought glory to you here on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. 5 Now, Father, bring me into the glory we shared before the world began.

6 “I have revealed you[a] to the ones you gave me from this world. They were always yours. You gave them to me, and they have kept your word. 7 Now they know that everything I have is a gift from you, 8 for I have passed on to them the message you gave me. They accepted it and know that I came from you, and they believe you sent me.

9 “My prayer is not for the world, but for those you have given me, because they belong to you. 10 All who are mine belong to you, and you have given them to me, so they bring me glory. 11 Now I am departing from the world; they are staying in this world, but I am coming to you. Holy Father, you have given me your name;[b] now protect them by the power of your name so that they will be united just as we are. 12 During my time here, I protected them by the power of the name you gave me.[c] I guarded them so that not one was lost, except the one headed for destruction, as the Scriptures foretold.

13 “Now I am coming to you. I told them many things while I was with them in this world so they would be filled with my joy. 14 I have given them your word. And the world hates them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. 15 I’m not asking you to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one. 16 They do not belong to this world any more than I do. 17 Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth. 18 Just as you sent me into the world, I am sending them into the world. 19 And I give myself as a holy sacrifice for them so they can be made holy by your truth.

20 “I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. 21 I pray that they will all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you. And may they be in us so that the world will believe you sent me.

22 “I have given them the glory you gave me, so they may be one as we are one. 23 I am in them and you are in me. May they experience such perfect unity that the world will know that you sent me and that you love them as much as you love me. 24 Father, I want these whom you have given me to be with me where I am. Then they can see all the glory you gave me because you loved me even before the world began!

25 “O righteous Father, the world doesn’t know you, but I do; and these disciples know you sent me. 26 I have revealed you to them, and I will continue to do so. Then your love for me will be in them, and I will be in them.”

I know it’s a lot to read and take in all at once, but for some reason this chapter really struck me today.  I’ve had friends, family, and pastors pray for me throughout my life, but the thought never occurred to me that while on this Earth Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Prayed for me, and if that weren’t enough, if you read the next chapter you’ll find that He prayed this prayer right before being arrested, tried, and crucified. I know if that were me, some jerk a few thousand years off in the future wouldn’t have been the focus of my prayers right then.

Jesus prayed for me. Now that brings a smile to my face.

I don’t know, but something about this passage really struck me today and really lifted me up. And I wanted to share. 🙂

*Footnote: Yes I know that the Bible is the immutable word of God. I was merely trying to give you an understanding of how this chapter came out of left field and smacked my heart.

*BibleGateway for the win!

War or the lack thereof (FIGHT!)

How do we define war? Is it nation vs nation, ideology vs ideology, or religion vs religion? Do wars require of the use of guns, tanks, ships, or airplanes? Is a it a war if there are no uniforms for either side? Can you imagine a war with an enemy that is unseen, or war with an enemy that makes no sound? In fact the only way to know where the enemy has been is too look at the path of destruction that he has left behind. Wouldn’t that enemy fill you with fear?

WAKE UP! WE ARE AT WAR!

We are in the midst of war that can’t be seen with our natural eyes or heard with our natural ears. Only the cries of hurt can be heard and only the tears of the ones left behind can be seen. Our enemy’s biggest (and most imponent) weapon is a physical death the power of which was removed by Jesus. The stakes of this war are higher than any war before or after. But that’s not to say that the outcome of the war is at stake, cause this war has already been won. It was won with a tree, three nails, and the death (and resurection) of One truely innocent man.

FIGHT!

The enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy. For many he has stolen our joy, killed our loved ones, and destroyed our dreams. If we accept these loses and hide our selves in the fleshly pleasures of this life then the only heaven we will ever know is a man made on here on on earth and not the one made by God. If we merely shake off the slumber the world has put on us and fight. We will regain our lost joy, restore our dreams, and save the ones we love and a whole heck of a lot more. Fight for your loved ones, fight for hope, fight for love, fight for peace.

FIGHT!

The enemy is one willing to negotiate, willing to find any compromise that we will accept. Want to go to church and then come home and watch porn? Sure he would willingly agree to that. Oh I’m sorry that was a little blunt. Ok here’s a better one. Want to go to church and then go out and see that really popular R rated movie? Hey watching that might help us connect to what the world is really going through just say a quick prayer before and after and no worries. God is a forgiving God, he’ll understand. The Enemy knows that any compromise on our part further seperates us from God, increasing the chances of slowly pulling us out of the fight and into a wordly life. A life seperate from God and his promise.

FIGHT!

How many half naked ladies do we have to see on TV before every woman we see is half naked?

FIGHT!

How many times can we hear “Oh my god” (or worse) on TV, in the movies, or in music before we start saying it?

FIGHT!

Had a bad day? Drown it out with a beer or two or three, heck who’s counting?

FIGHT!

How many of us would see a dead body on the street and immediatly think “What would Grissom be looking for here?”, rather than realize that God through his son Jesus has given us the power to raise the dead? 

FIGHT!

Where do these paths lead? To a weak and ineffectual church body as a whole! To congregants who would rather debate when Jesus is comming back rather than save their neighbor (assuming they even know their neighbor’s name).

I’m guilty just as much as the next person. I was saved through cheap grace. And now I’m trying to learn about costly grace. The grace that costs my life, but in return I get true life in Jesus.

FIGHT!

Hunger and Thirst

I used to think that when people said things like “hungry for God” or “thirsty for God”, that they were speaking metophorically. I was so very wrong, so very deceived. I think it’s hard to explain to someone who hasn’t experienced it, but it is so very real. I was only given a small glimpse of it before a great war in my spirit began. Sadly it was a war that I was losing for a time, but my Lord is not Lord of defeat, but one of VICTORY!

Lord sustain me with your word! Make your Spirit the water that fills my spirit. Return to a hunger and thirst for You and your rightousness. Take my excessive physical hunger and turn it into a spiritual hunger for the things of you.

Lord purify the desires of my heart.

Welcome

Hi,

Welcome to the start of an interesting journey for me, and hopefully for you. My hope for this blog is that I’ll be able to record what God is doing, has done, and what He is going to do in my life. I hope that years from now I’ll read through this blog and see how God has guided me and see how much I’ve grown.

I pray that anyone reading this will be blessed by what God puts on my heart to write or share, and that His message will draw you closer to Him.

Love,

Andy