Search for the LORD and His strength; continually seek His face. Psalm 105:4
So. Continually seeking His face. And I have bits and pieces of books stacked in heaps, with a pretty odd assortment of scraps marking my places. I figure it is the only way to slow me down enough to reflect on what I am actually reading. So I don’t gulp words, but actually chew them before swallowing.
So I am going to reread again and again 1000 Gifts for the Monday night book club, a call to receive whatever He freely gives. And in this place of seeing and receiving to live fully with glory and grace and God. Shelley loaned me Practicing the Presence of People, a reflection on what Brother Lawrence’s continual seeking of His face might actually look like. For instance, my neighbor. And I am wading through the precisely articulated brokenness in Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina. Brokenness seems to be a theme. The world is broken and He and we are about the restoration. And of course, I am still working through Mr. Nouwen, page 113, The Only Necessary Thing.
God’s way can only be grasped in prayer. The more you listen to God speaking within you, the sooner you will hear that voice inviting you to follow the way of Jesus…the descending way of Jesus…blessed are the poor in spirit…blessed are the gentle…blessed are those who mourn…blessed are the merciful… Henri Nouwen, Letters to Marc, about Jesus
Mary Anne taught on prayer Sunday, How to pray prayers that God loves to answer, modeled on Nehemiah’s first prayer as he grieves over the brokenness of His people.
1. Worship the Lord, the God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant of love with those who love Him and keep His commandants.
2. Ask, keep on asking; knock, and keep on knocking; seek and keep on seeking; Hear the prayer your servant is praying before you day and night
3. Confess the sins we, including myself, have committed again Him. If you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that my Father in heaven will forgive me.
· Forgive others and God
· Confess anger, bitterness, self-justification
· Renounce the enemy and lies and strongholds
4. Pray the Scriptures
5. Unite my prayers with God’s heart and will, His great big kingdom purposes
6. Pray in agreement with others
7. Pray through, be specific in my requests.
I tried to carry yesterday’s verse along with me, all day long, after a particularly discouraging Monday of pell mell messiness: Show me Your ways, O LORD, and teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; in You may I trust all the day long. Psalm 25:3–4
All day long.
And putting together the bits and pieces, there is a beauty in the brokenness. My brokenness and all of the brightly colored shards about me. A mosaic that becomes His face.
Ann Voscamp’s thesis is that which tears open our souls, those holes that splatter our sight, might actually become the thin, open places to see through the mess of this place to the heart-aching beauty beyond. To Him. To the God whom we endlessly crave.
Your face, Oh LORD, I will seek.
Your way, Oh LORD, will I walk, the descending way of Jesus.