Bowing your head before eating that burger

praying-before-meals

Policemen praying before a meal-Pinterest

Note: This post is not meant at all to draw attention to myself and to my prayer life. I’m just sharing some insights I recently had on the topic of prayer in public.

Truth to be told, I often eat at home because in the cafeteria there’s way too much food on the tray and the consequences of eating too much at lunch time are usually seen in the afternoon: in 6 years of uni I took more naps in class than I can remember. However, yesterday, for the first time in a long time- a very long time, I had to eat at the cafeteria with some friends. As people sat and start eating their entrées and undertook the task of gobbling down their cheeseburger, I looked at mine. What do I do ? I want to thank God. The first Person that I want to thank, and honor before that meal is the Lord. I rested my head upon my hand, said a quick prayer in my head and as always, people started asked me questions: “Are you okay ? Do you have a headache ?” “I’m okay, thank you !”. Though I have the habit to pray silently when I’m alone, I sensed that I had taken the posture I usually adopt when I try to “shrink”, to hide; had anybody seen me he would have never known I was praying. Yet I pray even when I’m alone- I am not trying to display it in public for the sake of being seen. Prayer is an integral part of my life. After the last lecture of the day, I tried to recollect my thoughts.

Continue reading “Bowing your head before eating that burger”

Memories of a loved girl to whom God said, “No”. Reflections built around a prayer from “The Valley of Vision” book.

sunset

Pinterest.

Holy Lord, I have sinned times without number, and been guilty of pride and unbelief, of failure to find Thy mind in Thy Word, of neglect to seek Thee in my daily life. My transgressions and short-comings present me with a list of accusations, but I bless Thee that they will not stand against me, for all have been laid on Christ. Go on to subdue my corruptions, and grant me grace to live above them. Let not the passions of the flesh nor lustings of the mind bring my spirit into subjection, but do Thou rule over me in liberty and power. -The Valley of Vision

As I watch the sunset by the window, the walls of the houses before me bathed in golden beams, I am reminded of a line of a prayer I read last weekend.

“I thank Thee that many of my prayers have been refused. I have asked amiss and do not have, I have prayed from lusts and been rejected, I have longed for Egypt and been given a wilderness.”

I am sitting there, as one who has been rescued from an addiction by a Loving Father, as a child who has been kicking everything in his way, screaming and crying, and, after a long time, only to realize, that the deprivation that tortured him was actually his salvation.

“Go on with Thy patient work, answering ‘no’ to my wrongful prayers, and fitting me to accept it. Purge me from every false desire, every base aspiration, everything contrary to Thy rule.”

I had hard times last year. And instead of turning to the Lord in prayer, I imagined scenarios that exhausted me emotionally. I sought to please man rather than God. I did not ask for the faith that is needed to care only for the present day. Sometimes, although I could not see it, some of my desires that I thought to be godly ones…. Were sometimes hiding lots of pride, conditional love to the Lord, falsehood, unsecurity and fear.

“I thank Thee for Thy wisdom and Thy love, for all the acts of discipline to which I am subject, for sometimes putting me into the furnace to refine my gold and remove my dross.

He disciplined me and I hated it, though I would not say it or even think it, but my whole attitude of dejection, when seeing I was deprived of the said thing I was coveting, betrayed my heart: The Lord was good only when I got the thing. And I thought I hated the prosperity Gospel.

Yet.

“No trial is so hard to bear as a sense of sin.”

What are we to fear ? What are we to long for ? A instant of fleeting pleasure or the smile of God ?

“If Thou shouldst give me choice to live in pleasure and keep my sins, or to have them burnt away with trial, give me sanctified affliction.”

Our blessed Lord Jesus was the object of delight of the Father, yet, did He live a comfortable life ? No !

“Deliver me from every evil habit, every accretion of former sins, everything that dims the brightness of Thy grace in me, everything that prevents me taking delight in Thee.”

Yesterday, during my prayer time, I realized how SWEET communion with the Father and His Son is. And I welcomed at last loneliness, and kissed the silence wafting in my room. I have learned to kiss the rock that throws me against the Rock of Ages.

“Then I shall bless Thee, God of jeshurun, for helping me to be upright.”

If you are reading this, and going through a hard time, I don’t know what pains you are going through, and at times we just want a presence, not somebody to give us a sermon of “futile” encouragement. Sometimes the pain is so raging and almost hurts physically. I felt the pain in my chest. I know how it feels. But after 3 years, in my case, of seeing only nonsense about my particular situation, after feeling that the last crumbs I possessed were taken once again from me, one week ago, the pain came to an end. It was over. The Lord made me see why I could not have what I wanted. He took it- so I can be filled with a nectar, with a treasure, that is, Himself. It could not have worked with all my pretenses and facades. Thank you, Father.

“Then I shall bless Thee, God of jeshurun, for helping me to be upright.”

How to pray

At a Christian Conference I attended this summer, my mom bought me a bunch of books on various topics, and among them, she picked “How to Pray” by R.A Torrey

 

how to pray

So far I had read books on nearly everything, theologically speaking but strangely never on prayer. 

Reading this short book has been a tremendous encouragement to me and makes me want to spend more time in prayer. For a long time, prayer has been one of the areas in which I had most of my spiritual struggles, and this little book, short and really based on the Scriptures, is definitely renewing my vision of prayer.

I wanted to share a quote that really spoke to me and guess what; I copy/pasted it. Because it is available online ! As I said, it’s a really short book and it’s totally worth reading !

“Oftentimes when we come to God in prayer, we do not feel like praying. What shall one do in such a case? cease praying until he does feel like it? Not at all. When we feel least like praying is the time when we most need to pray. We should wait quietly before God and tell Him how cold and prayerless our hearts are, and look up to Him and trust Him and expect Him to send the Holy Spirit to warm our hearts and draw them out in prayer. It will not be long before the glow of the Spirit’s presence will fill our hearts, and we will begin to pray with freedom, directness, earnestness and power. Many of the most blessed seasons of prayer I have ever known have begun with a feeling of utter deadness and prayerlessness, but in my helplessness and coldness I have cast myself upon God, and looked to Him to send His Holy Spirit to teach me to pray, and He has done it.”

Giving God the crumbs…

Today, I received in the mail a copy of A.W Tozer’s book, Experiencing the Presence of God, and, as Randy Alcorn, who prefaced it, be prepared to be pierced by the Holy Spirit’s conviction. 

I read the first chapter, and, quickly looking at the second, stumbled on the title Giving God the crumbs. Reading those words alone appealed to my conscience and I went on reading.

“The simple fact is that God gets the leftovers, never the main meal. God never gets anything new. He gets the hand-me-downs. We give to God that which we do not need instead of giving to Him that which we need, and thus earning a crown for ourselves. If we were concerned with our spiritual condition as we are with our homes and our businesses and our income, we would go forward spiritually at a great rate. The beautiful thing about it is that we would not neglect our homes to do it, and we would not neglect our businesses to do it. You do not have to choose between making a living and going forward with God. You can do both. There is time to do both. You do not have to choose between keeping your house decent and cooking your meals for your husband, and going on with God. You can do both”.

In the library: Matthew Henry’s method for prayer

“We therefore draw near to you believing that you exist and that you powerfully and bountifully reward those who diligently seek you.”- Matthew Henry’s method for prayer

  “Who is like you, O Lord, among the gods?Who is like you, majestic in holiness,awesome in glorious deeds, doing wonders? (Exodus 15:11)