Wilderness Journey

Another door closed for us this week. I apologize for the impersonal fb post, but I know a lot of you have been praying and walking with us, and I didn't want to miss anyone. We continue to journey through a wilderness time of our lives that began in June. I know enduring a wilderness time, one will either mature and learn or disintegrate. We have learned a great deal about God, our family, myself, and life in this time. I must also say I am weary and tired. I identify with Israel as they journeyed through the wilderness and wondered why God would do this. I know the feeling of desperation to hear from Him. I know the sense of silence on the other end. I know the questions which ambush the heart and mind regarding your identity, your value, your calling, your talents, your gifts.

I know the psalmist's indignant prayer to "ANSWER ME, my God!" I know how to wonder how long will He stay silent. I know how, with Job, to hold on to the integrity of my heart while coming toe to toe with my God in prayer. I also know how to trust and say, 'surely goodness will follow me all the days of my life.' I know God is good. I know he works all things for my good, and He will do so.

Thank you so much family and friends for your prayers and encouragement. They give me strength for the long haul. God is good to me! You are proof of this.

Addressing God

How do you address God in prayer? Is it personal or is it stale and rehearsed? Unless I find the right name to address God by, I have to question from the get go how free or real my connection with Him might be. If I can only address God on general terms, I cannot find a personal connection. If I have to put the word "the" before the term I use to address God, it is only an anonymous prayer. It is general and not personal.

There are moments you read through the Psalms and other spiritual writers to find a bursting prayer connection, and it most often comes from the address of God at the get go. Anthony Bloom says these moments "burst out with something which has the quality of a nickname, something which no one else could possibly say...which is made possible only because there is a relationship."

The Psalmist comes right out and says, "You are my Joy." Not that God is joy (which he is). Not that God is the Almighty (which He is). Our prayer becomes personal when we are not only stating facts about God, but when we come out of the gate personally addressing God with relational terms.

You are my God. You are my joy. You are my refuge. You are my greatest good...

Renewed to Steadfast [again]

Entering a week spiritually and emotionally exhausted changes your prayer. When the wind in your sails carries you nowhere, your prayer changes. In prayer, my heart remembered and prayed Psalm 51:10.

Create in me a pure heart, O God. Renew a steadfast spirit within me.

I prayed with focus on my need for a renewed spirit, but I got stuck on the phrase just after praying it. I had prayed that prayer many times. I have sung that verse several times. I had never realized what I did in prayer yesterday.

How interesting that something STEADFAST would need RENEWED!

It would seem, by definition, something that is steadfast would eliminate a need for renewal. You should not need to renew something that is steadfast.

But you cannot overlook the prayer. It is in scripture for a reason. It seems God is fully aware that our spirit and soul need renewal. It seems God renews our spirit, and he restores it to a steadfast state.

God renews our spirit to places where renewal is no longer necessary.

He never answers our request for renewal with, "But your spirit was supposed to be STEADFAST!"

Grace floods my prayer!