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Persevering Prayer - Living in the Sacred-

 20.1.11

 When I wrote about my year's theme, Living in the Sacred,  a visitor left a note saying, "It will be interesting to see how you live it out and communicate it on here this year."



I don't know if you are still sojourning with me, dear visitor,  but I want to say that Living in the Sacred is real, is what we Christians do, every day, every moment. It is not something I made up; it is not something mystic, it is REAL. We live in the Sacred, because we live in Him.

"In him we live and move and have our being" Acts 17: 28

My dear friend, Living in the Sacred, living in Him, is living in prayer, in communion with Him.... always praying; praying without ceasing.  It is abiding in the Word, because it is in the Word of God where we can clearly hear His voice.

This is what I don't want to forget this year, this life I live under His sun and by His grace.

Today's borrowed words are taken from Grace Gems, (I know it is long, but I encourage you to read it all)


"The exhortation, then, of the apostle, to the Philippian Church, means, first, that prayer should be the pervading spirit of the Christian life—that it should be, as leaven, fermenting the whole substance of our moral being—a sentinel, continually keeping watch over our unguarded movements—a sanctified enclosure, fencing us round by the protection and presence of God. Like those bright and glorious orbs which revolve in the skies above us—no sounds may be uttered—but the language of the heart unceasingly ascends to the Father of spirits, and enters into the ears of the Lord God Almighty. There may be no form—no utterance of language—it may be a tear—a sigh—a wish—a hope—a desire—a groan—but the whole Christian life is pervaded by the spirit of prayer.

"Prayer is the soul's sincere desire,
Uttered, or unexpressed—
The kindling of a hidden fire 
That trembles in the breast.

The formation of plans—the carrying on of daily duty—the going forth to encounter any difficulty or trial—the bearing up under reproach, injury, or wrong, are all thought of, in subjection to the will of God, in prayer. The Christian man will not absolutely say, "I will do," "I will not do," until he has thus committed the matter, in prayer, to God. It fills his heart as he opens his eyes to another day—and, a silent prayer is breathed, that its dangers may not injure his soul—that its good may be received with thankfulness, and its evils may be averted or shunned. It enters into all his hopes and desires, so that they are always, "If the Lord will." When an evil thought rushes into the Christian's heart, it finds that the spirit of prayer is there to meet it—when a subtle temptation creeps stealthily through the soul, if it has been thus exercised, there is comparatively but little upon which it can lay hold, and it retires without having drawn him into sin. It is thus that he realizes prayer as a perpetual safeguard against the attacks of the adversary; and, living under its sacred influence, he has the blessed consciousness of living near to God. God dwells in him, and he in God—the Divine image is reflected upon his soul, for "God is light, and he who dwells in light, dwells in God and God in him."

Under all circumstances and in all conditions, this spirit of silent, yet earnest, believing prayer, may have its power upon the heart. Its home is the Christian's bosom—its hallowed influence pervades the Christian's life—it brings down the happiness and peace of heaven itself into the Christian's soul, so far as these can be enjoyed in this imperfect state of being; and, it is, in truth, the most elevating, comforting, and transforming, of all the duties, in which the Christian can engage on earth. It brings him nearest to his God, and his God to him. There are no circumstances in which it can be crushed—no peculiarities of place in which it may not be indulged. In the time of adversity—when earthly blessings are removed—this spirit sustains the soul, by leading it to "cast all its care on God who cares for it." In the hour of bereavement—when the home is desolated and the heart is wrung—this spirit calls Jesus to look upon the desolated home and the torn heart, and reminds Him, that when on earth, He once shed a tear over a scene like this; and, there is no thought of a removal of the sorrow, except by the spirit of prayer, which can alone cope with the sad, desolating power of grief.


*******************

"[W]hile the Christian may thus, in everything, hold sweet, unbroken communion with heaven—and, through all the duties and trials of daily life, may cherish and retain the spirit of prayer—he will have his special sacred times with God. Times of meditation and prayer—times which only sickness or imperative necessity will ever permit him to invade or to interrupt—times when the world and the things of the world are forgotten, and the soul draws fresh nourishment, and strength, and hope, from pouring out its desires and longings—its supplications and entreaties, at the throne of grace, and, anew, asking help against coming toils and trials, from its gracious and compassionate Heavenly Father."

********************

"[T]he exhortation of the apostle goes even further than this, and implies that, in every condition and circumstance of life, Divine guidance, and help, and counsel, should be sought in prayer. There are many, who flee to a Throne of Grace in times of extremity, but who are strangers to it when all is calm and tranquil—who never imagine that the help of God is needed quite as much in prosperity as in adversity—in health as in sickness. "When trouble is upon them," says Scripture, "they will pour out their souls unto God." "In their affliction they will seek me, says the Lord." Yes, they know they cannot, in such trying circumstances, bear up without the help of Heaven—they feel the utter insufficiency of human resources, and the weakness of human trust—and they cry unto the Lord for help. They pray in the tempest, but are silent in the calm—they implore deliverance from the sick-bed, but not the fear and love of God to keep and guide them in the day of health—they make their complaint under the pressure of calamity, or the burden of distress, but they ask not for a thankful spirit in the midst of their plenty and prosperity."

*********************

"The true Christian, however, realizing his own feebleness and his entire dependence on the grace and help of God—"in everything makes known his requests unto God"—not merely in times of tribulation, when the storm has driven him to seek for shelter—not merely in days of sickness and trouble when he stands as it were on the brink of death's dark flood—but when everything is bright and prosperous, and when health and vigor animate his frame. If in sickness, he prays for patience—in health, he prays for a thankful spirit. If in adversity, he prays that God may not forget him—in prosperity, he prays that he may not forget God. He makes known his requests, not merely for spiritual, but for temporal blessings, knowing that his temporal and spiritual lot are inseparable, and that, in the arrangements of both, he cannot and ought not to rely on his own judgment and discretion, but on the gracious promise of God—"In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths."

You can read the whole article here.

So Dear Reader, I am living out this year's theme by learning to fill my days with prayers. I am learning to "retain the spirit of prayer" in the midst of my duties and while hugging and kissing my children and husband; I am learning to have "special sacred times with God" throughout my day; times of  prayer, times of meditation on His Word while memorizing it, because I long to abide in Him all day long.

May God help us to  persevere today in prayer, to live with our heart inclined to prayer.





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Becky

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Becky
If I am happy it is because of God! God, in His sovereign grace, has called me out of darkness into His Admirable light. He has opened my eyes and has shown me the way to Eternal Life. He has set my feet on a journey, and now I am walking Daily on My Way to Heaven. I did not find Jesus, He found me. I did not seek Him, yet He called me. I did not love Him, yet He loved me. I deserved death and He gave me Life. This is the place where I keep a journal of my life under His sun and by His grace!
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Borrowed Words

"It becomes us to spend this life only as a journey toward heaven... to which we should subordinate all other concerns of life. Why should we labor for or set our hearts on anything else, but that which is our proper end and true happiness?"

Jonathan Edwards

"I am still pondering God's greatness in His creation. I have so many questions that I would like to ask the Lord about the universe, creation, the fall of man... But when I'm in heaven, I wonder if I will even remember them. At that time, being in the presence of God will be enough. I'm thankful that I can look forward to that day."

-Persis

“Heaven is not here, it’s There. If we were given all we wanted here, our hearts would settle for this world rather than the next. God is forever luring us up and away from this one, wooing us to Himself and His still invisible Kingdom, where we will certainly find what we so keenly long for.”

- Elisabeth Elliot, Keep a Quiet Heart



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