Thursday, November 17, 2011

Ch 1. God's Presence, God's Power (pt 2)

As I pick my book back up and begin to read I am reminded of a podcast of a sermon that I heard over the weekend on my drive to South Carolina. In the podcast he Pastor of the church that I attend talked about Prayer and how even as a pastor, he still struggles with prayer and by preparing the sermons for us forced him to sit back and reevaluate his life especially his prayer life and how it always needs more work. The funny thing is that I heard this sermon BEFORE I received the book that I am reading. Sometimes God just really has to make things obvious to us before we get huh? lol. Anyways, these are thoughts that race through my head as Bill Hybes describes his own struggles with prayer and although he knew A LOT about prayer, he RARELY ever practiced it. I think he describes it best when he says:
I have a racehorse temperament, and the tugs of self-sufficiency and self-reliance are very real to me. I didn't want to get off the fast track long enough to find out what prayer is all about. (pg11). 
However he did take the time to get off the fast track and delve into prayer, and it wasn't until he did so that he felt like he truly knew God. He went from a very causal, "Hey God, How is it going?" type relationship to a very deep, hours long of conservation type relationship. Deep down this is what i yearn for. I ache to be closer to my creator but I am not 100% sure I am ready to get off the fast track that I have put myself on. Hopefully though as I dive deeper into this book I will be able to have that deep connection with God. It is only when we are pray and become connected with God can we truly enjoy his power and majesty. There is a saying that is something along of the lines of  When we work, we work; but when we pray, God works. This is another thing that I need to try to keep in mind as I struggle each and every day.Bill provides us with an example from the bible in Exodus 17:8-13. In this passage, the Israelites are fighting the Amalekites and Moses sends Joshua to fight them while he goes and prays on top of the hill. He prays with his hands stretch towards the heavens but as you would expect his arms get tired so he lowers them. As soon as he lowers his hands, the Amalekites begin winning! panicked Moses raises his hands once more, turning over the struggle to God and the Israelites as a result win the battle. So often I find myself trying to fight my own battles and to do things on my own and it isn't until I truly hand everything to God that the battle is finally won.
It boils down to this: if you are willing to invite God to involve himself in your daily challenges, you will experience his prevailing power -- in your home, in your relationships; in the marketplace, in the schools, in the church, wherever it is most needed (pg15). 
In my description of the passage, I left out one very important detail.  While Moses knew if he let his arms go down once again they would lose the battle, his arms still got tired. He wasn't alone though, he had two friends up on that hill with him, Aaron and Hur. They found a stone for him to sit on and held his arms up when he was too weak. They believe that much in Moses and the power of prayer that they in-convince themself to help their friend. While i really do believe that God is always there for us and that he will give us the strength we need to carry on, it is important to note that sometimes that strength comes in the form of friendships. I am very happy to say that I have been blessed with numerous friendships with people who I know will be there to help strengthen me and lift me up as I journey through life and they know I would do the same for them. I thank God for blessing me with these people and I hope that you, my readers (whoever you may be), have been blessed as well. If not, I will be happy to help :)

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