places where God's Word has touched my life and left it's impression

Sunday, April 05, 2009


"I have posted watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem;
they will never be silent day or night.
You who call on the Lord, give yourselves no rest,
and give him no rest till he establishes Jerusalem."
Isaiah 62:6
I have mentioned this verse previously (July, 2006) in connection with prayer, but was reminded of it again in reading this section from Wrestling With Angels by Carolyn Arends...
A couple of summers ago I was asked to perform in Ohio. A converted barn had become the concert venue for a very successful folk music series. It was rumored to be a rare haven for singer/songwriters, and I was excited and nervous in equal parts. My duo partner Spencer was to meet me at the Canton airport - his work on violin, mandolin, and guitar was my secret weapon. We looked forward to the show for a very long time.
Spencer never arrived. An unpleasant encounter with some United States Customs and Immigration officers forced him to miss his flight. I was already unpacking at the farmhouse next to the barn/concert hall when I got his call. His voice was thick with disappointment, and even as I made a halfhearted attempt to console him, panic was setting in. How was I going to go on alone? "I'm so sorry," Spencer said. "I can't believe I'm missing it. And who's going to pray with you before the show?"
This was an odd thing for Spencer to say. We had discovered early on that praying together before our performances was as critical as tuning our instruments, but we never discussed it much. We just did it. Spencer's faith is deep and abiding, but he hates pious talk and religiosity with a particular passion. Besides, I could pray by myself. Still, his comment revealed a concern for me that gave me what my friend Bernie calls an AWFATH (an Actual Warm Feeling Around The Heart) - and I was glad he was my friend.
I hung up the phone and started tuning the guitars by myself. I was miserable, overwhelmed at having to engage a sold-out audience for two hours with no support. I tried to pray but I couldn't focus. The opening act began to play and set a clock ticking ominously in my head. Twenty minutes till show time. Feeling claustrophobic, I headed for the front porch. If I was going to hyperventilate, I may as well do it in the fresh country air.
I had only been fighting off the mosquitoes a few minutes when a woman got up from a folding chair at the back of the barn and started walking hesitantly toward me. I stiffened. I didn't want to sign any autographs while the first singer was performing. I would hate to become a distraction from his show, and I needed to be alone and collect my thoughts. But the lady kept coming. I worked up the most sincere smile I could manage while scanning the area for security personnel. "Excuse me," she said, barely above a whisper, "I am so sorry to bother you. I feel foolish. But sitting over there watching the show, I got the strangest sense I was supposed to come pray with you." I swallowed hard and managed an eloquent response along the line of "Oh." She prayed a short and sweet and inspired prayer - asking God to be with me through my performance - and then she left.
As she headed back to the barn she stepped out of the way of another woman who was moving unmistakably in my direction. "Excuse me," whispered the new stranger, "I hope you won't think this is weird, but I just felt I should come pray with you. Is that OK?" I told her it was.
By the time I took the stage, four women I had never met before had prayed with me. And God had spoken.

Sunday, February 15, 2009


You may say to yourselves, "These nations are stronger than we are. How can we drive them out?" But do not be afraid of them; remember well what the LORD your God did to Pharoah and to all Egypt. You saw with your own eyes the great trials, the miraculous signs and wonders, the mighty hand and outstretched arm, with which the LORD your God brought you out.
Deuteronomy 7:17-19
do not be afraid;

Saturday, February 07, 2009

holy living

See, I have taught you decrees and laws as the LORD my God commanded me, so that you may follow them in the land you are entering to take possession of it. Observe them carefully, for this will show your wisdom and understanding to the nations, who will hear about all these decrees and say, "Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people." What other nation is so great as to have their gods near them the way the LORD our God is near us whenever we pray to him? And what other nation is so great as to have such righteous decrees and laws as this body of laws I am setting before you today?
Deuteronomy 4:5-8
This seems such a contrast to many churches today which push just the opposite - the "unholying down" of our Christianity in order to be able to better relate with and appeal to unbelievers. Consider this as well from the New Testament...
For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say NO to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in the present age, while we wait for the blessed hope - the glorious appearing of our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.
Titus 2:11-14

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

in chains

"And pray for us, too,
that God may open a door for our message,
so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ,
for which I am in chains."
Colossians 4:3
A prayer,
not for a change of his own circumstances,
but that the gospel may go out,
even through his circumstances.
"Thy kingdom come..."

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

if my people

"If my people
which are called by my name,
will humble themselves
and pray
and seek my face
and turn from their wicked ways,
will I hear from heaven
and will forgive their sin
and will heal their land."
2 Chronicles 7:14
Too often I think,
at best,
the only part of this we do,
is to pray for the healing of our land.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

praying for others

an examle:
"For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheriatnce of the saints in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins."
Colossians 1:9-14
Worth memorizing, to pray as God brings people to mind.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Abba, Father

...but you received the Spirit of sonship.
and by him we cry,
"Abba, Father."
Romans 8:15
Because you are sons,
God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts,
the Spirit who calls out,
"Abba, Father."
Galatians 4:6
Abba, Father...
this seems to me the very heart of prayer...
of longing for His presence...
Abba, Father
the peace of resting in His presence...
Abba, Father
when feeling overwhelmed...
Abba, Father
when joyful...
Abba, Father