Mar 13, 2010

Simplicity in Prayer

Mother Teresa said, "We complicate prayer as we complicate many things."

So we simply come to Him in solitude and silence while He nurtures us. Our hearts are filled and we can then go out and nurture others.

We still our souls and listen for Him in the spring breeze, the twittering nightingale, the fluttering leaf, the gurgling creek. He speaks and we know what to say to the brokenhearted.

We still our souls and look for Him in the stars of the night, the break of the dawn, the dew on the leaves, the bloom of the rose. He appears and we know how to solve our most daunting problems.

Perhaps we light a candle, put on some soft music, and have coffee with Jesus. Or instead take off on a brisk walk. As we sink down into the present moment where God lives and the wind tousles our hair, His presence invades our emotions and dissolves our fears.

Dear Jesus,
Help us to spread your fragrance everywhere we go.
Flood our souls with your Spirit and life.
Penetrate and possess our whole being so utterly that our lives may only be a radiance of yours.
Shine through us
and be so in us
that every soul we come in contact with may feel your presence in our soul ...

~ Mother Teresa
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Mar 7, 2010

Nurtured by God

We often think of our service to God as being the first priority. However, God is not served by human hands, as if He needed anything (Acts 17:25). Instead He glorifies Himself by serving us.

Read what John Piper says in Desiring God, p. 132:

Suppose you are totally paralyzed and can do nothing for yourself but talk. And suppose a strong and reliable friend promised to live with you and do whatever you needed done. How could you glorify your friend if a stranger came to see you? Would you glorify his generosity and strength by trying to get out of bed and carry him?

No! You would say, "Friend, please come lift me up, and would you put a pillow behind me so I can look at my guest. And would you please put my glasses on for me?" And so your visitor would learn from your requests that you are helpless and that your friend is strong and kind. You glorify your friend by needing him and asking him for help and counting on him.
In the same way, God is the Server and we glorify Him by allowing Him to nurture us. "For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many (Mark 10:45)."

So when you go to God for your quiet time, do not go as if you are doing something for God. This is to puff oneself up. Go as a child that needs to be nurtured by Him. Make yourself happy in His Word and presence! If you do, you will bear much fruit. After all, "this is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins" (1 John 4:10) emphasis mine.

We instinctively go to God when we are weary or frightened or sad. He designed it this way. Just as the branch is nurtured in the vine and then bears fruit, so we are sustained and strengthened by God so we can tell a needy world how good He is.

Some other scriptures to ponder:
Jeremiah 15:16
Zephaniah 3:17
Isaiah 40:29
John 15:15

Being nurtured by God is primary. Try it and see how it transforms your prayer time and your life. Service to God is only the fruit of abiding in His love (John 15:9). For without Him we can do nothing (John 15:5).

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