May 312014
 

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You are the one from whom no secret can be hid, who sees behind all of our piety, pretense, and cover-up …

and we are the ones with many secrets, some shameful, some shocking, some risky …all of them precious to us.

We begin this day with that acknowledgment before you, you seeing and knowing us, a perfect match for our hiddenness.

 

Those secrets – conventionally – are about having done that which we ought not to have done, having not done that which we ought to have done.

And there is enough of that for the day.

Just behind that – other secrets more telling and risky and surely more scandalous:

that behind our ready faith comes impatience with you,

that behind our eager vocation lurks cynicism, because nothing changes,

that behind our gratitude toward you is our sense that you are stingy with us,

that behind our much prayer is our sureness about your absence, indifference, and detachment.

All of that – our deep disappointment in you – is signed by our fidelity unappreciated,

by alienation all around not swamped by your love,

by loneliness not visited in gestures of communion,

by all the intractable issues of poverty, homelessness, and violence that we take to be your proper business.

We will keep praying – but now you know.

We will keep praying, but wondering, daring to doubt.

We pray in all our Friday candor.

Amen.
Walter Brueggemann. Awed to Heaven, Rooted in Earth: The Prayers of Walter Brueggemann (p. 36). Kindle Edition.

  68 Responses to “Prayer & Praise”

  1. Ok…I admit it.

    I want the LA Kings to win tomorrow night…sigh…glad to get that out.

  2. New developments in the ever-deteriorating tent that is my body. I’ve been diagnosed with cervical spinal stenosis (narrowing of the upper spinal column), which causes pain in my neck and shoulders as well as down into my hands. This is further complicated by newly discovered bone spurs in my hands, and what appears to be a separating of my left wrist and hand. I should be going in for an MRI on that hand sometime in the next week. I’m wearing braces and taking some pretty strong meds, but the relief is minimal. My pain specialist says that pain sensations I feel are probably heightened by the fibromyalgia.

    On the brighter side, I’ve been receiving injections of Orthovisc in my knee joints, and it is helping. Honestly, it’s one of the few treatments of any kind that my body actually responds to positively. Very thankful for that.

    On a completely different note, the new board of elders for our church will be presented to the congregation today, prayed over and anointed with oil. I’m excited to say that I am one of those elders. I’ve been asked to teach one midweek and one Sunday during June. Our lead pastor won’t even be out of town on those days. He just wanted to give me the opportunity. He even gave me the choice to continue in the book of the Bible he has been teaching through or choose my own passage/topic. When I mentioned that I thought it unusual to let someone else teach his series, he said, “Well, I don’t want this thing to be a one-man show.” I think we found us a good one!

  3. My heart goes out to our pseudonym “Captain Kevin.” The pain he must suffer daily. My prayer is that he might be healed and rejoice in complete health. I know that there are others who appear here who also are in need of healing.

    The Bible is a book of and about healing on many levels.

    Meditate within your heart on your bed, and be still. Psalm 4:4

    Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him. Psalm 37:7

    Be still and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10

    Exactly how this is done is not always the same for everyone.

    In some situations, we try to “box God in” on how He will heal us. God has various means to utilize, to restore, or to bring us to proper health.

    What we do know is that ignorance, unbelief, prejudices, and presumptive thinking are blockades that must be removed for the stream of God’s healing power to flow to and through us.

    II Kings 5:1-14 tells us of the preconceived ideas Naaman, the leprous and valiant warrior, had concerning “how God through the prophet would heal him.”

    Verse 11 states, “But Naaman was furious and went away and said, ‘Behold, I thought, “He will surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the LORD his God, and wave his hand over the place and cure the leper.”

    The directions given by Elisha were to the contrary though. “Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored to you, and you shall be clean.”

    Due to Naaman’s preconceived ideas and his prideful and prejudiced ways of thinking, he almost missed out on the very thing he was seeking—cleansing, healing, and restoration.

    Naaman turned away in rage (verse 12), but his faithful servants prevailed upon him to go and wash himself in the Jordan River.

    As Naaman humbled himself and did the little act of foolish obedience, his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child and he was made clean (see II Kings 5:14).

    3 John 2:1 states, “Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers.” Good health is the mark we all desire.

    In God’s healing delivery system, there are at least three major channels employed:

    1. The natural and nutritional.
    2. Science and the medical arts.
    3. Divine, supernatural healing.

    We see one of Almighty God’s names is related to healing in the Bible here:

    1. Exodus 15:26, “If you will give earnest heed to the voice of the LORD your God, and do what is right in His sight, and give ear to His commandments, and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have put upon the Egyptians; for I, the LORD, AM YOUR HEALER.”

    We hear a human declaring that the Lord heals all our diseases here:

    Psalm 103:1-5, “Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy Name. Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget none of His benefits; Who pardons all your iniquities; Who heals all your diseases; Who redeems your life from the pit; Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion; Who satisfies your years with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle.”

    We hear a prophet of God confirming that God heals us here:

    Isaiah 53:5, “But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed.”

    We hear a fisherman confirm what the prophet of God had declared here:

    I Peter 2:24, “And He Himself bore our sins in His body on the Cross, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.”

    We read about Christ confirming and making true the above statements here:

    Matthew 8:16-17, “When evening had come, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed; and He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were ill. This was to fulfill what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet: ‘He Himself took our infirmities, and carried away our diseases.'”

    So how are we to relate to all of this in our own experience today?

    Mark 16:16-17, “These signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues; they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

    We are told that some even have a gift to heal us or depending on how we look at it, healing is a gift by the Holy Spirit:

    I Corinthians 12:9, “…and to another the gifts of healing by the one Spirit.”

    God’s good advise for all of us today:

    James 5:14-15, “Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him.”

    Healing became known to some people first through Jesus and then through the fisherman Peter:

    “And wherever He went—into villages, towns or countryside—they placed the sick in the marketplaces. They begged Him to let them touch even the edge of His cloak, and all who touched Him were healed.”—Mark 6:56

    “As a result, people brought the sick into the streets and laid them on beds and mats so that at least Peter’s shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by. Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those tormented by evil spirits, and all of them were healed.”—Acts 5:15,16

    Faith can and does release healing:

    “God did extraordinary miracles through Paul, so that even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sick, and their illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them.”—Acts 19:11-12

    Healing is not always instantaneous:

    “They came to Bethsaida, and some people brought a blind man and begged Jesus to touch him. He took the blind man by the hand and led him outside the village. When He had spit on the man’s eyes and put His hands on him, Jesus asked, ‘Do you see anything?’

    “He looked up and said, ‘I see people; they look like trees walking around.’ Once more Jesus put His hands on the man’s eyes. Then his eyes were opened, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly. Jesus sent him home, saying, ‘Don’t go into the village.'”—Mark 8:22-26

    Bringing the presence of God into an individual’s life over an extended period of time and seeing progressive healing occur through the patient process is often termed “soaking prayer.”

    Some sources of faith for healing:

    1. By the faith of healer—the one ministering.
    2. By the faith of individual—coming with the need.
    3. By the faith by others who bring the one in need.
    4. By exercising faith in the Word of God expressed through prayer to God alone.

    Let’s always be Christ-centered, giving praise and honor to the glorious Lord Jesus Christ, and lift up the One who suffered on our behalf.

    Remember the lesson of Numbers 21:6-9. Whoever looked at the bronze serpent upon the standard lived. Let us lift up Christ and cause people to look to Him!

    Remember, ultimately, it is not the “healing techniques or models of delivery systems” that bring God’s cure to bear.

    It is the person and presence of Jesus as it says in Matthew 4:23:

    “And Jesus was going throughout all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom, and healing every kind of disease and every kind of sickness…”

  4. Captain Kevin,

    Congratulations on becoming a teaching elder of your church-I know you will be wonderful. I’m so excited for you. You have been greatly missed here, so know that they are getting a treasure in you.

    I have been praying for your health and will continue to do so now that I know better what to pray for. I am so sorry your body is betraying you in so many ways.

    know you are loved , dusty (((hugs)))

  5. Praise to the Father of Lights, with whom there is no shadow of turning or variance, the Father who is not the Author of Confusion.

    Prayer for the disconnected, dissected and self-fractured ‘church’, enamored by Personality and Celebrity within her numbers as well as by those outside the walls.

    I pray for Unity in Jesus Christ alone and the Atoning Work open and free to All equally and without division. Our Life is In Him, His Life is in Us.
    -mike

  6. Out of the mouth of a babe—-a keeper of a video

    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=1605448749869

  7. Prayer Requests: June 1-7

    Captain Kevin – ever- diagnosed with cervical spinal stenosis (narrowing of the upper spinal column), which causes pain in my neck and shoulders as well as down into my hands. , bone spurs in my hands, and what appears to be a separating of my left wrist and hand. I should be going in for an MRI on that hand sometime in the next week. I’m wearing braces and taking some pretty strong meds, but the relief is minimal. My pain specialist says that pain sensations I feel are probably heightened by the fibromyalgia.

    Dusty – has broken her foot .

    Michael and Trey
    – Needing prayer covering this week especially.

    J2 and her husband
    – facing nonsense from the local government which may result in $6000 in fees. Prayers for wisdom and the community voicing their frustration, and that they would be heard.

    Michael Liles “Smurf” -A man Derek served with in Bosnia and Iraq, he has been diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease, ALS. The lifespan for those diagnosed with this is very short. Prayer for Michael and his family. You can find out more, also about his speaking before Congress for more attention to ALS, on his FB page: https://www.facebook.com/michael.liles.169

    Scott Pastor friend’s 18 month old Granddaughter– was killed when a dresser and television fell on her.

    Neo – rapid recovery from surgery .

    Nonnie- her Grandson Bennet’s– recovery from his surgery!

    Paigemom’s Daughter and Son-in-law Eric and Sarah S
    . “My son in law out of work for months. , is also struggling with depression and severe self doubt. My daughter works part time. Both are ‘hanging in there’ by faith, but both are weary and wonder if they have been ‘cut off’ from God’s care.

    Derek – for a solution to his wife’s car issues, with the least amount of expense.

    Gary
    – for a solid job opportunity and something to come quickly for housing. Also, just for some encouragement during this frustrating time.

    Scott Praise for all that God has done and prayer during this time of transition.

    Michael– Needs a job and income. Now.

    J2thePerson – disability application processed quickly.

    Chile -family member who was given just two years to live.

    Ryan – dealing with loneliness and a desire for true friendship.

    Derek – friend Dennis , served two tours with Derek and is possibly PTSD

    London – for her eyes.

    Sarah’s Nephew-in-Law Blake Serving 9 months in Afghanistan. Pray for safety.

    Pastor Saeed FREEDOM

    Gomergirl
    – coworker/ friend, Kathy. niece was one of the victims in Santa Barbara

  8. Shared this on FB, but wanted to share my praise with all of you also:

    Lately I’ve had several opportunities to talk about my China excursions, which left me with a desire to visit the Chinese Churches again. Seeing as travel is out of the question at this time, I was feeling a bit disappointed. God must have heard my lament, because he brought the Chinese Church to me.

    As it was already too hot this morning to walk the dogs I decided to load them into the truck and drive them to the park, where we could mosey along in the shade. As we round the corner to Jaco’s favorite shady spot, it was already taken by another group, so we move on to the next best spot to rest in the cool shady grass. Turns out the group was a gathering of Chinese believers having Church in the park, so I was able to witness the Gospel spoken in Chinese and I even got to hear a worship song. God answers prayer, just not always in the way we expect.

  9. Jlo

    That is astounding!!! Glad to hear of your God given surprise!

  10. jlo, rejoicing with you 😎

  11. Captain Kevin~

    Praying for your health, and rejoicing
    In your appointment as an elder and teacher! Encouraging to hear your pastor is sharing his podium!

  12. Dusty! ( the sunglasses must be that secret agent in you! )

    Thanks for posting the prayer requests …

    How is your broken foot this week?

  13. 😎 lol foot is about the same. hobbling around getting nothing done. Buster has to do everything

  14. So dusty
    Is your foot in a Cast? Or brace?
    When is it expected you will be able to walk without it?

    Well… I just discovered the most delicious ice cream ever invented…
    White chocolate raspberry cream!
    I’m hoping its a one time find…
    And they discontinue it…
    🙂
    Which reminds me of Erunner and his
    Wasn’t it- chocolate cherry blizzards?!

  15. Adding an Amen to mikes prayer
    And praising God from whom all blessings flow….

  16. Belinda is doing much better. We removed a catheter that was keeping her arm numb and the bleeding from the surgery has pretty much stopped. She sees the doctor tomorrow and we’ll get a better idea about physical therapy, etc. The family has all pitched in making things easier as we all do different things. We purchased an electric recliner that she can sit in. It does everything for her so she doesn’t have to use her arms or knees to get in or out of the chair as it pretty much stands her up.

    CK and Dusty, will seek to remember you in prayer.

    Sister C…. you mean the infamous choco cherry love blizzard with extra chocolate? 🙂

  17. ducking in for a minute—been completely overwhelmed with tasks, trying to finish school year, business responsibilities, and a new grandson (our dear Amber) who along with his 14 month old brother and momma needs a lot of care and support. It has been very satisfying and enjoyable, but exhausting. Amber needs much attention and assistance with two little ones in diapers and hubby not available (long story) so we’re pulling long hours. Baby Charles is doing great and older brother Isaiah too. All that and career transitions…so prayer for strength, wisdom, and mercy appreciated.

  18. You can remove the comment about “head space”

    Hey Flip

  19. Thank you, my friends. I pray for you all as well, and miss spending time here. Seasons…ya know?

  20. Sis, My foot is in what they call a boot – a type of brace. I don’t know how long I will have to be in it 6-8 weeks they said is the healing process…been in it two weeks now…when I step the wrong way I can tell it is still broken.

  21. keeping Belinda in prayer for continued recovery

  22. Filbertz, keeping you and your family in prayer.

  23. will do London

  24. Ahh the Kings are headed for another Stanley shot…

  25. Dusty,

    Thank you for updating this…it’s the most important place on the blog.
    Please be praying for me to get employed this week…somehow, some way.

  26. I will keep praying for you big brother

  27. Thank you, Dusty!

  28. hey Lonny!

  29. Dear Lord, please, by Your power and grace, lead Michael to a great place of employment, where his gifts and abilities will be used and appreciated, and will pay enough to provide for all of his needs according to Your riches in glory through Christ Jesus. Amen.

  30. Amen

  31. Thank you, CK…praying for you, my friend!

  32. Filbertz,

    Good to read your posts… and tho things sound challenging for Amber, ( Im surmising its the same amber dusty, myself and others were praying for to get out of an abusive relationship years ago) It sounds like she is on a much better path now?
    will remember to keep her in prayer as well as wisdom, strength and mercy for you…

  33. Erunner~

    yes~ that infamous choco-cherry blizzard! Have you conquered that irresistability hold it had on you ? One day, Im going to have to try one,,, or maybe not 🙂
    Good word on Belindas recovery,,, and you are all to be commended for caring for her so well… please tell her hello for me, and im remebering her in prayer for continued recovery

    Dusty…
    you should be resting… not stepping on that foot! Especially the wrong way!
    am I gonna have to go over there young lady? :O

  34. Belinda had a good visit with the doctor today. They removed everything and sent her home with a sling. X-rays show the new elbow is good. P.T. won’t begin for maybe 3-4 weeks. She is having a lot of pain and needs to be making a fist to gain strength in her hand. She’s also eating more which is good. Thanks again for your prayers.

    Sis, try one and get extra chocolate. You can get a small one to alleviate any guilt! 🙂 I have conquered the hold it held on me but I take the 5th on all else! I’ll pass your greeting to Blinda. God bless!

  35. Captain Kevin_

    Agreeing with you in prayer

    Dear Heavenly Father,

    Direct Michael through Your grace and divine providence, through people., and circumstances, by a miracle of mundane measures to secure employment in a place that will appreciate the gifts and talents you have given him,,, employment that will be well suited for him, that he would take joy in the tasks he is given to do, and that would provide for him, his family and loved ones in good measure…

    Thank you Lord, for your timing, provision, and your answer as we look to you as the giver and the source and even more as Father who knows the absolute best for each one of us,
    Show that to Michael … how perfectly you design and fit our lives and situations for your glory… show Him in a very special and unique way this week

    amen

  36. Sis, I”m trying to stay off it but so much needs to be done at both houses….landlord is bringing in a real estate agent this week to give him an appraisal….sigh….house is not in good shape….not worth purchase -imo

  37. Hi Dusty!!

    The real estate agent will likely present a market analysis of the house, in other words, based upon current sales and the prices of other comparable houses in the area, what the agent feels the house would likely be able to sell and appraise for…

    I certainly hope that you dont feel like you have to do ANYTHING to the house to make it more appealing for showing/listing…that is not your responsibility…. your job is to rest and heal and heal well young lady!!!

  38. Dusty, I’m sorry about your foot. Misery loves company. One in pain praying for another in pain.

  39. Thanks Captain, been praying for you lots

  40. You don’t seem to catch a break, CK. 🙁

    Hope your foot keeps healing, Dusty.

    Glad Belinda is doing well, Erunner.

  41. Seeing you guys consistently lift one another up in prayer is a great encouragement to me. Thank you all!

  42. Thank you j2tperson…you are sweet

  43. J2theperson, how is hubby doing? any better?

  44. Just got the first tests back for T…he has mono.
    Never ends around here…but I’m glad it wasn’t something worse.

  45. Josh…you are missed.

  46. what a relief! Mono- that takes a lot out of a person….how is he doing? how are you?

  47. He’s wiped out…we all are.

  48. I can imagine all the poking and prodding…would wipe out anyone…

  49. Glad it was nothing worse.

  50. Josh, need prayer?

  51. Derek, how’s the car situation coming along? any luck yet?

  52. Yes, my wife is using my car and I got an old pickup. We still have my wife’s car but it has now become the project car it will be worked as I have time and money only.

  53. Hey Josh, good to see you!

    Praying for Trey. Mono…that’s brutal!

  54. Nothing Specific Dusty. Thanks for asking!

    I still read here all the time, I just don’t get involved with the conversations. I appreciate the kind words!

  55. Josh,
    No need to avoid participation because of me.
    Here’s where I’m at these days…

    http://robbellcom.tumblr.com/post/79886748736/what-is-the-bible-part-53-a-shout-out-to-the-lonely

    peace

  56. continuing to pray for T. and Michael

    Father bring healing and employment soon

  57. Also praying for healing and relief of pain for Capt. Kevin.. .Lord move mighty in his body.

  58. T is feeling pretty awful, but at least we know why.
    I have a big interview Monday at noon…via Skype.
    Turns out it’s with someone I know and like and my chances of success just went way up.
    I hope…

  59. Michael,
    Prayers for Trey.
    Excited for your interview!!!

  60. Thank you, G!
    The person interviewing me got me free tickets to a Blazers game once because she liked my work…hopefully she will let me work for her. 😉

  61. This is so exciting, that you will possibly be making a living being creative!

  62. Thanks for asking, Dusty. Rob is still not well at all. We’re in the middle of doing a strict no-starch elimination diet. Some people with AS have had very good results with such diets. So we’ll see. If we don’t see any results in 6-8 weeks then I guess it will be time to consider medication–which will not heal him and could have bad side-effects.

    On a positive note, the meeting I wanted a good turnout for was packed. The council woman who headed it was really mean and strict, but that might have been good because I’ve heard it kind of turned off some of the other alderpersons. The number of people who showed up made an impact, and some of the alderpersons are slowly coming around, but we need to keep pressure up on them. There’s another meeting on the 11th.

  63. will keep praying j2theperson, so glad you got the turn out you hoped for

  64. praying for your interview Michael and that you land the job!

  65. our landlord wants to sell the place we are renting…there are WAY too many structural problems for us to want the house….We looked at another rental we found yesterday-huge house in the country but not too far away from the freeway…before we even finished the tour of the place the lady says,,’ oh yea, the asking rate is $400 LESS than was posted.’ and she tells us the last two families she showed it to she would not accept as renters…She talked as if we were all ready to move in, ‘you can do this, you can do that…..’ don’t want to get my hopes up but it looks good….and she was supper friendly…..

    what do you think…too good to be true?

  66. Looks like very promising news for a rental for
    You Dusty!

    And promising job prospect for you Michael!

    And great turn out for the meetings for J2 as well!

    Keeping you all in prayer
    That God would indeed perfect those things which concern you
    And bless you abundantly above and beyond what you expect!!!

    Heavenly Father.,

    How we thank you for your promises
    And we thank you for these hopeful and very promising situations for Dusty, Michael and J2s…
    Please bring to fruition that which is best for them AndONLY glorifying to you…
    That we may join in rejoicing for answers to prayers..,,
    That weary Hearts would be refreshed
    Also bring healing to T, Michael,
    Dustys foot, J2s husband, capt Kevin
    Belinda., along with each person who is listed for healing on this thread,..

    Thank you lord
    For your provisions of grace
    And great kindness towards us

    Amen

  67. OOooo…Monday Skype interview! Lord?

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