Posts Tagged ‘spirit’

What if…I find it hard to pray?

Posted: November 25, 2010 by Haelie in What About...
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Prayer.

In many ways a very straight-forward subject.  Instructions and examples of prayer are found throughout the Bible.  Sermons are frequently preached about it.   Books are written about it.

We pray before meals.  We pray in times of difficulty.  We even say prayers of thanksgiving in times of blessing.

Why, then, is it that we so often find it difficult to pray?

Here’s one possibility…

Over time, as I have learned more about God, I have come to know and respect His sovereignty.  That is…that He is in complete control and has a plan that is much higher and greater than anything my mind can begin to fathom.  His plan and purpose cannot be changed by anyone or anything.  He knows all, knows best, knows the big picture and orchestrates everything to fulfill His great plan.

Yet—this great, sovereign, unchanging God loves me intimately and wants me to come to Him at all times sharing my heart, soul, desires, thoughts, hurts, hopes, plans, and even prayers for others.

My little bitty mind has a very hard time wrapping around the fact that my prayers do touch His heart and even potentially could help alter the way certain things are happening.  I know prayer is no magic “genie-in-a-bottle” thing.  Not at all.  But, I do know that “the prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. (James 5:16)”

God created prayer as part of His sovereign plan.  So, even though there are times when I have a bit of a mental block when it comes to prayer, I go to Him and ask Him to help me.  And you know, sometimes we just don’t know what to say when we pray.  He knows that.  I am, therefore, thankful that, ” the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.  And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. (Romans 8:26-27)”

What about you?  Can you relate to this?  Do you struggle with prayer at times?  He understands.  And so do I.

What If… I die tomorrow?

Posted: September 1, 2010 by Nathan in What If...
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Last Sunday we travelled back from our much needed and fantastic family holiday. We had not travelled far, about an hour, when we came to a stop at the end of a traffic jam. It became clear that there had been an accident and the traffic jam soon turned into a linear car park.  People got out of their cars and craned their necks to try and see what was going on. First police, then ambulances, fire engines, more police, an air ambulance, yet more plain police cars and finally the ominous sign of the darkened windowed cars of the undertakers filed passed our windows. We were only about 30 cars back and could see the aftermath of the accident.  It was far too close for comfort, especially with two small children in the back.

Three hours is a long time to sit in a car waiting. As I sat and prayed for those involved and for all those who were helping I couldn’t help but wonder “What if…?”  What if my wife had not taken that wrong turn?  What if my kids had not slept in so late? What if we’d been more organised the night before and packed the car then? All these questions leading to the inevitable “What if we’d have been 2 minutes earlier and it had been us involved in the accident and not them?” What if instead of sitting here in relative comfort for three hours we were sitting in agony as fire crew cut us from our car? In fact, what if it was us that the undertakers were packing into those black bags and transporting sedately away in front of the silenced onlookers?

In some ways it doesn’t bear thinking about. Yet thousands of people die unexpectedly every day of the week, every week of the year. Those six people involved in Sunday’s accident had no idea what their day was to bring. Never would it have entered their minds that this day would bring so much pain, anguish, tragedy and even death. However, it happens to people all over the world day in and day out and yet we never expect it to happen to us and never really prepare for it. When it comes to dying most peoples preparation goes as far as ensuring they have clean underwear on in case they land up in hospital.  Some people go as far as having funeral plans, life insurance and making a will.  But what about the really important thing?  Have we really thought through what would happen to us if we did die unexpectedly today? Is this life really all there is? Many people have a vague belief in God, but are we really ready to meet Him?

The Apostle Paul, in the Bible, says that to live and do God’s work on earth was great but to die was even better.  Not many of us can say that!!  I once knew an incredible lady who was so ready to die, she was an inspiration. Every birthday that came around she would say that we could wish her “Happy Birthday” but weren’t allowed to wish her many “happy returns” (a way of saying “and many more birthdays to come as well“).  She had been a missionary, she was still doing the work of God but what she really wanted to do now was to meet Him face to face, to go to heaven and start the party!!  She didn’t want to die in a sort of depressed, suicidal way she just wanted to move on to bigger and much better things. She knew she was living in a second class Kingdom and that God had so much better for her in store. She had thought through carefully the Christian faith, she had made her decision and lived it out for many years.  She was now ready to go home. Had she not spent the time and energy to explore the Christian faith she would not have been ready, she would not have had that certainty that a life trusting God can give you.

You may have made a will, got life insurance, have your family catered for and all your affairs in order but have you taken care of your spiritual welfare? You may have left details of what is to be done with your possessions and even your body when you die.  Your nearest and dearest may know if you want to be buried, cremated or even cryogenically frozen but what preparations have you made for your eternal future.  What if there is even the smallest possibility that part of you, that part that makes you you, continues in some form or other.  Some people call it your soul, some your spirit, but whatever it may be called isn’t it worth thinking through the possibilities.  No-one likes to miss out on good things.  As a Christian I believe that the best is yet to come. I believe it took God six days to create this earth.  I also believe that is has taken Him 2000 years and counting to create an eternal place for us to dwell.  That gives the magnitude of how great I believe heaven will be.

Now that is going to be some party!!  Are you ready to join in?