Wednesday, August 1, 2012
PRAYCATION 2012 A TRANSFORMED LIFE
Praycation is a stepping away …stepping away from the burden of always needing to have everything your way, stepping away from demanding the things that you want…so that you can step into the frontier of spiritual life.
Praycation is a stepping away from all useless reflections of the past and stepping to a God who is waiting for us to pay attention and listen to the voice of God whether it comes as a clap of thunder or a still small voice.
Praycation is praying boldly life-changing life creating prayers. To pray is to change. God uses prayer to transform us. If we are unwilling to change, prayer may become a burden. Prayer brings us closer to the heart of God, helps us to see things Gods way, to desire the things God desires, to think God’s thought after God, to want what God wants for our lives.
Moses prayed believing that his prayer could change things even God’s mind. David chased after God’s heart leaving sleep with “Early I seek Thee” (Psalm 63:1). Esther gathered the women together to pray and fast before taking action to respond to a travesty. Jesus and his crew were so busy with ministry that they did not have time to eat. Jesus then suggested “Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while.” (Mark 6: 31). The disciples had prayed all their lives and still asked Jesus, “Lord teach us to pray.”
Does any of this sound familiar? Our lives could stand some changing. Let us pray! We need to rekindle our desire for the heart of God. Let us pray! There is some challenge, a crises or travesty on the horizon that impacts community and country. Let us pray! Life is beyond busy and we need to find a deserted place and rest a while. Let us pray! We have prayed and still don’t know all there is to know about prayer. Let us pray!
Welcome to Praycation 2012: A Transitioned Life.
This year Praycation involves several elements:
Silence – Inviting the Presence of God
Silence is the preparation to receive the gift of God’s presence. It is the absence of speech and the act of listening with the heart. Only when we learn to be truly silent are we able to speak a word that is needed when it is needed, writes Richard Foster.
Sit still. Breathe deeply. Exhale: Lord I need you. Inhale: Lord I receive you.
“Be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46: 10
Solitude – Being alone with God
Solitude liberates us from being afraid of being alone with God or ourselves. God is calling us to step aware from the ordinary, turn off the noise and everything with an on and off switch. Take advantage of the solitudes that are present everyday. The early morning solitude before the business of the day in bed, over a cup of tea or coffee, in a quiet place before the work of the day, or tiny snatches of time in rush hour traffic, or quiet places outside the home like a park, tree, patio, garage or a sanctuary.
“But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”
Matthew 6: 6
Submission – Putting Ourselves in the Hand of God
Let’s do something radical. In prayer let us be “yielded and still” before God alone. Let us yield our body, mind and soul to the Lord at the beginning of everyday. Lord whatever you want me to do, wherever you want me to go, whatever you want me to say in whatever way you desire. It is the first thing in the morning and last thing at night prayer.
Let’s submit ourselves to God’s word day and night to be fed, led, taught and transformed.
“But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you” John 14: 26
Service – Do what the Lord Commands
God will direct us in the days ahead from our tiny snatches of silence, solitude and submission to look beyond ourselves to others. No assignment by God is too small or too big; God is able to use us to be a blessing to those who are either closest to us or away on the other side of the world.
We go forward everyday having been formed and transformed in prayer and nurtured by the Holy Spirit to a new awareness of God’s presence. We go forward with new assurances, joy and peace as a follower of Jesus Christ. We go forward putting feet to our prayers.
Selah – Stop Here before Moving Forward
Selah is a word used in the Hebrew Bible, often in the Book of Psalms as a notation or direction to musicians or choir. It can mean stop and listen or those who have ears listen and those who have eyes see. It can also mean stop here before moving forward.
The Selah that is a part of Praycation 2012 are your daily simple sentence prayers. Sentence prayers have been apart of our lives forever. Every time you uttered “Lord help” or “O My God” that was a sentence prayer.
Our daily time together will include a Bible verse and a sentence prayer that you can utter all day long and reflect upon before submitting to sleep at night.
Your daily Praycation can take 31 seconds or 31 minutes everyday. I suggest that you start by taking small steps first. Work your way through each level of Praycation from Silence to Selah until it is as essential to your spiritual life as air, food and water is to you daily life.
Remember this is Praycation, a step away from the ordinary. Everyday, take time to be silent, inviting the presence of God; get away to a quiet place or solitude; place yourself into the hands of God or submission to lose your life for Christ’s sake (Mark 8:35); service, doing what the Lord commands and Selah, stopping to read God’s word and pray a simple sentence prayer.
Got it? Let the praying begin!
“And there came a lion.” I Samuel 17: 34
When lions show up in our lives it can cause fear, anger and anxiety. The heart begins to pound and the adrenalin flows. The lion showed up in young Davis’s life and threatened to destroy his flock. What looked like a life threatening crises was God’s opportunity for success in disguise.
Let us pray:
Lord, open my eyes today to see your opportunities even if they are disguised as trials and temptations. In Jesus name, Amen.