Good for the soul
Lee, a seven-year-old boy, was asked to say thanks for the Christmas dinner.
The family members bowed their heads in expectation. Lee began his prayer, thanking God for his mommy, daddy, brothers, sister, grandma, and all his aunts and uncles. Then he began to thank God for the food.
He gave thanks for the turkey, the stuffing, the Christmas pudding, even the cranberry sauce. Then Lee paused, and everyone waited … and waited.
After a long silence, the young fellow looked up at his mother and asked, “If I thank God for the brussels sprouts, won’t he know that I’m lying?”
Yep…be honest when you pray…He knows anyway.
David has come to the end of his rope emotionally, mentally, and physically. He is stopping to offer God some gut honest words of how he feels in the middle of his struggle with being a leader, warrior, and a “man after God’s own heart”. These words are raw and honest. Some of these raw, honest words could be how you feel this morning after fighting illness, avoiding COVID, trying to pay bills after losing a job, wondering how you will provide for your family in this season, coping with online school and all the glitches that come with that endeavor, or dealing with “extra grace required” people that are pressing in and irritating you, gossiping about you, or trying to pull you down to lift themselves up. These are attacks that are real. This is a battle for our souls. David is spiritually at the end of his rope, as well. Then he realizes God is in control as always.
So, pray honestly to God. He can take it. God already knows anyway.
Worship and Wisdom, Psalms and Proverbs
Psalm 70, The Message
A David Prayer
70 1-3 God! Please hurry to my rescue!
God, come quickly to my side!
Those who are out to get me—
let them fall all over themselves.
Those who relish my downfall—
send them down a blind alley.
Give them a taste of their own medicine,
those gossips off clucking their tongues.
4 Let those on the hunt for you
sing and celebrate.
Let all who love your saving way
say over and over, “God is mighty!”
5 But I’ve lost it. I’m wasted.
Quick to my side, quick to my rescue!
God, don’t lose a minute.
TRUTH: Let all who love your saving way say over and over, “God is mighty!” AFTER the honesty comes the praise to the God who saves, rescues, and loves us beyond our wildest thinking and realization!
Proverb 22:3-11, The Message
A prudent person sees trouble coming and ducks;
a simpleton walks in blindly and is clobbered.
4 The payoff for meekness and Fear-of-God
is plenty and honor and a satisfying life.
5 The perverse travel a dangerous road, potholed and mud-slick;
if you know what’s good for you, stay clear of it.
6 Point your kids in the right direction—
when they’re old they won’t be lost.
7 The poor are always ruled over by the rich,
so don’t borrow and put yourself under their power.
8 Whoever sows sin reaps weeds,
and bullying anger sputters into nothing.
9 Generous hands are blessed hands
because they give bread to the poor.
10 Kick out the troublemakers and things will quiet down;
you need a break from bickering and griping!
11 God loves the pure-hearted and well-spoken;
good leaders also delight in their friendship.
WISDOM: God loves the pure hearted and well-spoken. God puts the words in our hearts, in our minds that flow over our tongues in those who love Him and seek His will.
I’m going to be honest. I’m tired of staying inside to avoid the virus in this pandemic even though I know it is the safe place to be. I’m tired of the division in your church over wearing a mask or not, talk of conspiracy theories that only divide us not unite us, of people who gossip behind the scenes as others do the work to help others find and follow you. I miss traditions of family events that bring us together but this year will be different and keep us online only with only brief encounters physically. I miss positive, loving touches and bear hugs by those I love dearly.
But in my honesty displayed openly before you this hour, I realize you have already come to our rescue, met all our needs and protected us from all we do not see as you see. You have softened hearts. You have gotten the attention of the lost and they are coming to you in online services! You have given us creativity and a new thinking for reaching out to others. You have given us words to say when we call people because we genuinely care for them. You have shifted our attention from ourselves and what we think we need to others and what they need from us! You have used all you have been pouring in us as your vessel to speak to others in ways that might have lain dormant–until a pandemic brought these abilities to the surface to shine Your Light of hope!
Yes, I praise you, for you alone are worthy of our praise! I trust in your rescue even before I see it. My hope and life is in You! Nothing is too hard for You. No event on this earth has been a surprise to you! Our lives are secured in You. Forever. And for that alone, I give you all praise, glory and honor!
In Jesus Name, and By His Power, Yes and Amen!
Oh, come let us adore Him
Christ, the LORD.