Finding Prayer Effective

downloadOver the last 31 days, we have posted a series of missives penned by Andrew Murray in 1898.  Amazingly they coincide quite well with our current needs.  It seems prudent to go another 31 days.  You may have missed one, or there may be another item come to mind when you find yourself on a day.  Join with me.

This will take us into the church season of Lent, which starts on March 6th.  Maybe you will join with me on a fast.  There are several ways to fast and pray.  Here are a few.  Never take a physical fast without talking to a doctor or intimately knowing your physical condition.

  1. Abstain from a food you like.  Candy and cake and donuts and pastries.
  2. Abstain from all starches and sugars.  Potatoes, pasta, bread, sweets.
  3. Abstain from meat.  Go vegetarian.
  4. Soup fast.  Only use liquids.  This will be my chosen fast.
  5. Abstain totally one or two selected days a week.  Maybe Tuesday and Friday can be your fast days.
  6. Abstain totally from food.  I do not recommend this without a review by your doctor first.  And I do not recommend over a week long.  Some fast for five days and then eat on two and then fast again for five days.

Fasting get’s your attention.  It subjects the body to the spirit and brings us in line to God’s voice and will.

Before you fast, get a fix in your mind as to why you are fasting.  Two years ago, I fasted for a child in a threatening condition.  After six weeks on a soup fast, she was healed and is doing great.  It was a specific fast until the answer was delivered.

Maybe you want to fast for a break in career or job or finances or an addiction or a painful habit you wish to break pattern.  Maybe you are seeking God for an answer in a specific situation.

For me, I am going on a soup fast for 31 days for the team at our church to see miracles in their ministry and for a few specific items to be accomplished for others.  I expect the answers will appear before the fast is over, but it is set for a season and I will continue in it for the full 31 days.

Blessings, Pastor Phil

Hope Under Ice

During winter ice, I made a long drive home. The distance is no longer. The ice and fog and tired body made it seem three times longer. Thoughts of tree damage to repair lengthen the drive. A sore hip stretched it into the uncomfortable. But the drive took no longer.

Along the way, the beauty of the ice in the trees painted peace in my heart. Acres and acres of bright, crystal, smooth ice on limbs is soothing. Beauty soothes the soul. During a parked moment on the highway due to construction, I snapped a few beauties.

Romans 15:4 tells me what is written is for building hope. This ice, this journey of faith is an inscription of the Lord on my life’s landscape for patience and comfort. He wrote it into my script for good.

How is He doing that for you? What icy moment is there to bring a work of patience and comfort and a result of hope? An illness? A job blip? A relationship struggle? A car repair? Will you allow Him ability to script hope with it?

The ice is beautiful, treacherous, and brings hope. It melts. The sun shines. Damaged trees will be trimmed. I make it home. And I am stronger for the next storm. Hope rises from the story and experience. It is written on my life. In this world we will have trouble, blip, interference, stoppage, slowdown. There is an icy beauty in each of them. There is a learning to be had. There is hope of the sun that will surely shine.

Let us pray:

Father, your will be done in my life. In my storms teach me patience. Comfort me. Assure me You are with me. Console me. Let me find a sliver of sunshine on a rainy day. Let hope rise stronger with each interference that I might shine like the Son to my world, my family, my friends, and my mirror. In the quiet parked moments, let me see Jesus. Let me see the beauty. Let my soul say, “It is well. Trek on.”

For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.
Romans 15:4 NKJV

New Endings

Morning Moment
This is not a cabin day, but I love my cabin days. The smoke of the chiminea and fresh air along with birds of all colors and sizes stimulate me. My listening opens. The Holy Spirit gets through my cloud.
Today is a clear day; however. I hear His voice quite succinctly. He says, “Seek and you will find. Set a fresh course. Begin a new end.”
Opportunity to begin a new end shouts at us every day. Do you hear it?
Write out the positive proposition of your new end. Who do you propose to be? What will you give up? What will you take up? Who will be on the journey with you?
What loose ends need closure? Have you done a fearless moral inventory lately to breakaway from wrong directions and resolve pains you have given to others?

Let’s Pray
Father, thanks. You have done marvelous works with me. My portion in life is a great one. All You have done for me is good. Cause my mistakes to have crop failure. Let the bad seeds rot in the ground and the good ones flourish.


Show Me Now Your Way

Exodgracechangeseverythingus 33:13
Now therefore, I pray, if I have found grace in Your sight, show me now Your way,
As Moses entered into a grace based relationship with the Father, he sought a fresh understanding. All had been based on obedience and regulation.  He pleaded for God to show Him the Divine Heart and Will and Way.  Do the same.  Seek to know God’s way and will. Laws and regulation are meant to take us to this point.  God wants your heart connected to His heart.  Move from obedience based on duty and requirements and fear into a relationship of obedience based on connection to a Supreme Love from the heart of God to be your friend and do right by you.  He is ready to grow you.

Walking Together

Christ is the cure for loneliness. He connects us. He finds a place for us. That is the work of a church.
There is no reason to walk alone.

In discussion with a group of ministers, each decried working alone at their tasks.  That is odd.  Rarely do I work alone.  Of course, I write alone.  Yet, even in that I have people submit ideas and do research.  Even if I don’t use it, the conversation is good and contributes.

None of us should walk alone.  This morning I am reading responses from legislators across the United States to a quick blurb.  We pray together.  We walk together.  Never alone.  That is just not right.

Ephesians 4:16 NKJV from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love