Tag Archive | Contemplative Prayer

I’m Being Heard (Thirty Days To Greater Fruitfulness, Day 11)

This blog has been temporarily overtaken by my Thirty Days To Greater Fruitfulness Challenge.  You can find out more by checking out the Introduction.

Probably one of the most unusual aspects of this journey has been that the more I’ve been silent and waited on the Lord to speak the more I feel like I’m being heard when I pray.  This is particularly strange because the amount of time I have actually had to pray things back to the Lord has been incredibly small.  But tonight as I was praying I was struck by the fact that Jesus is listening to me in a way that is different than before.  Almost as if what I’m saying now carries more weight and authority. Than when I started this challenge eleven days ago.

Why is this the result of listening and obeying?  So much of the time we only ask for things that we desire and we care very little for the things of Heaven.  But Jesus invites into a relationship with Him where we hear what is on His heart and we join Him in intercession for those things.  And these are the things I’ve been praying for as I’ve begun to listen more closely. So, I feel like I’m being heard at a new level.  And I’m enjoying it.

Have you noticed a change in how you pray since you’ve started the challenge?  Tell us about in the comments section.

Join us on the “Thirty Days to Greater Fruitfulness” experiment.  For the rest of September we are spending 30 minutes in silent prayer listening to Jesus and then acting on what He asks us to do.  Then we blog about the changes that are occurring in our lives through the marriage of listening and obedience.  It’s not too late.  If you’re just checking out that experiment feel free to jump in.  And if you want more information, you can check it out here.

Photo Credit: September WallPaper Calendar by DewDreams

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Humility (Thirty Days To Greater Fruitfulness, Day 10)

This blog has been temporarily overtaken by my Thirty Days To Greater Fruitfulness Challenge.  You can find out more by checking out the Introduction.

Today was one of those days that takes everything out of you.  Nothing went according to plan, everything was rush, rush, rush, and by the time the end of the day rolled around I still hadn’t spent my 30 minutes listening to what the Lord had to say.  On top of all of that, by 10:00 A.M. this morning of one the issues I mentioned in an earlier post became significantly more difficult than it already was.  So I spent the entire day stewing on the issue with no resolution. I was emotionally drained and physically spent.

You can imagine, then, that by the time 11:25 P.M. rolled around and I went to sit down and listen, that I wasn’t expecting much.  At best–tired, quiet prayer; at worst–falling asleep and waking up half-way through the night, only to feel guilty as I drug myself to bed.  But what actually happened was really surprising.

I sat down in the sun room off the front of my house and I just laid my whole entire day in front of Jesus.  I especially laid the whole situation that had been causing me grief all day and totally admitted that I had no idea how to fix the situation.  As I sat there and listened I knew that I was entering into a holy moment that was somehow intended for this 3o Day experiment.  For the first time in a long time I was able to see that I had absolutely no idea how to deal with the situation in front of me and that I was absolutely helpless to fix it myself.  I also began to see how so many of my ideas that I typically would use to fix this sort of thing are just that: my ideas, nothing more, nothing less.

I can’t explain it to you in words, but a holy freedom and clear, crisp humility gripped my soul for the first time in a long time.  I had become dependent on God, probably for the first time in a while.  And as I had, I began to sense the pleasure of the Lord.  Shortly thereafter there was a flood of revelation that poured into me from the Holy Spirit.  He gave me intercession for our house church.  He gave me revelation about the condition of  a friend’s heart that helped me pray for my friend.  He gave me a prophetic word for another friend and directions on how to deliver it.  It was the most satisfying time of prayer that I’ve had since I started.

But all of this came when I became totally convinced that I could not solve anything on my own.  In a lot of ways, the whole encounter felt like the Lord was very kindly breaking my hip (Genesis 32:25-35).  My encouragement to you, if you’re joining me, is to find this place of humility before the Lord.  Become convinced that you can no longer produce anything on your own.  In a lot of ways, if this is the only fruit that comes from this 30 Days, it will have been more than worth it.

Has the Lord shown you the value of humility through this experiment?  How did He bring you there?  Leave a comment in the comment section and let us know.

Join us on the “Thirty Days to Greater Fruitfulness” experiment.  For the rest of September we are spending 30 minutes in silent prayer listening to Jesus and then acting on what He asks us to do.  Then we blog about the changes that are occurring in our lives through the marriage of listening and obedience.  It’s not too late.  If you’re just checking out that experiment feel free to jump in.  And if you want more information, you can check it out here.

Photo Credit: September WallPaper Calendar by DewDreams

Strengthened To Obey (Thirty Days to Greater Fruitfulness, Day 3)

This blog has been temporarily overtaken by my Thirty Days To Greater Fruitfulness Challenge.  You can find out more by checking out the Introduction.

Nothing profound or fancy about today either. But, hey, this is a journey right?

The most significant thing about today was that I felt like I got some direction from the Lord yesterday about what to do with my night.  However, yesterday, I was sick as a dog and this morning I woke up the same way.  Working all day and then being obedient after work did not look fun, let alone possible.

The good news is that part way through the morning, I started feeling better.  It seems like the Lord was strengthening me to do what He called me to.  My contention is that this is a better way to live- dependent on Jesus and only able to do the things He gives us strength for.  I think He actually calls that abiding.

Anyways, that’s how my day went. How was yours?

Join us on the “Thirty Days to Greater Fruitfulness” experiment.  For the rest of September we are spending 30 minutes in silent prayer listening to Jesus and then acting on what He asks us to do.  Then we blog about the changes that are occurring in our lives through the marriage of listening and obedience.  It’s not too late.  If you’re just checking out that experiment feel free to jump in.  And if you want more information, you can check it out here.

Photo Credit: Calendar by Adreanna Moyer Photography

The Cost of Disobedience (Thirty Days to Greater Fruitfulness, Day 2)

This blog has been temporarily overtaken by my Thirty Days To Greater Fruitfulness Challenge.  You can find out more by checking out the Introduction.

Today was a day not unlike yesterday.  It was filled with a lot of distracted silence and little changes.  I want to highlight one quick event that I think is relevant to this “Thirty Days” experiment.

Today when I was driving home from work, it was pouring down rain.  My thoughts as I made my way home were on the relative lack of difference I had noticed between today and any of the days before this challenge began.  So, I did what humans do and began to complain to the Lord about the situation.

It was at this point that I noticed a guy walking in the rain with nothing to shield himself.  As I drove past him I felt my heart go out to this guy who had to walk in the rain.  In a way I haven’t felt in a little while, I began to think maybe I should slow down and offer the guy a ride.  I quickly wrote off the idea as something not from the Lord and went back to my complaining, but as I did I realized that quite possibly the sense of compassion I felt in my heart might just be the Lord speaking to me.  So I turned around.

I would like to end this story by saying that I picked up the guy and he came to know Jesus.  I would even enjoy saying I picked up this guy and feel like I really did what the Lord said.  In reality, by the time I turned around and went back to where he was, I couldn’t find him.

So here’s the lesson from today: I could have obeyed quicker and at least seen if there might have been fruit. But because I didn’t I have no way of knowing whether the Lord was the One pulling the strings of my heart or not.  I suspect He was.  But the only way I will ever know is if I trust those tiny, faint, gut level leadings that I’ve not always been convinced are the Lord.  Should I feel bad about today? Probably not.  Jesus still loves me and He will speak to me again.  But should I learn from today and trust Him while He’s leading me tomorrow? Absolutely.

So, if you heard His voice but weren’t sure today, there’s grace for you.  But as we walk this road, let’s see if we can respond faster and respond rightly and see what the results actually are.

What are you learning?

Join us on the “Thirty Days to Greater Fruitfulness” experiment.  For the rest of September we are spending 30 minutes in silent prayer listening to Jesus and then acting on what He asks us to do.  Then we blog about the changes that are occurring in our lives through the marriage of listening and obedience.  It’s not too late.  If you’re just checking out that experiment feel free to jump in.  And if you want more information, you can check it out here.

Photo Credit: Calendar by Adreanna Moyer Photography

Distractions and Peace (Thirty Days To Greater Fruitfulness, Day 1)

This blog has been temporarily overtaken by my Thirty Days To Greater Fruitfulness Challenge.  You can find out more by checking out the Introduction.

So I’m checking in to report on the Day 1 of Thirty Days to Greater Fruitfulness.  The time that I was able to sit in front of the Lord and actually wait on Him has been difficult.  Any of you who have tried to pray for longer than you normally would can probably indentify with this situation.  You want to take time aside and listen to Jesus but as soon as you set down, your mind starts thinking about the latest show you watched or something left unfinished at work.  That was my day.

If you’re taking the challenge and went through what I went through today, do not loose heart.  This is extremely normal.  And while we recognize that trying to wait on the Lord and listening to Him can be difficult at first, the harder thing to do is to really believe that what we’re doing at this stage counts.  The dry, mundane, distracted times of prayer actually are building something inside of us.  God sees what we’re doing and counts it whether we feel super connected or not.

On the fruitfulness side, I haven’t seen a whole lot of what I call obvious fruit.  No one came to know Jesus today, no one repented of their sin, I didn’t heal any sick people.  But just like the distractions, I kind of expected this to be how this thirty days started.

However, I did notice today that my heart was full of more peace than it normally would be.  I had a crazy day at work.  It was the sort of day that makes postal workers go…well…you get the idea.  But through it all, I had this peace that kept my heart at rest.  I was more attentive to the Lord’s presence and that was extremely helpful.

The other thing that I noticed today that was different than other days is that the motives of my heart are becoming more clear.  This is a good thing, because it’s giving me a chance to repent and clean out some junk that should have never been there.  I’m also beginning to see a few situations the way I believe the Lord sees them and I think that will bear fruit later, even if it’s not bearing fruit right now.

Part of this journey is learning that fruitfulness doesn’t come over night.  So if you’re in the same place I am, don’t give up and don’t be discouraged.  The Lord is working internally, and some times that takes time.

If you’re taking the challenge, leave a comment in the post below and let us know how it’s going.  Or, if you’re blogging on your own site, drop us a link so we can check it out.  Thanks for going with me on the journey.

Join us on the “Thirty Days to Greater Fruitfulness” experiment.  For the rest of September we are spending 30 minutes in silent prayer listening to Jesus and then acting on what He asks us to do.  Then we blog about the changes that are occurring in our lives through the marriage of listening and obedience.  It’s not too late.  If you’re just checking out that experiment feel free to jump in.  And if you want more information, you can check it out here.

Photo Credit: Calendar by Adreanna Moyer Photography

Come Rest

come-restI just thought I would take a minute and plug the book of a dear friend of mine.  Come Rest is a new book by Dick Speight, founder of Come Rest Ministries.  I first met Dick when he cold-called me after having heard about me through his daughter. We met a short time later and discovered we had deep affection for four things: Jesus Christ, the church, the contemplatives, and Monk.  Instant friendship in the making.

Dick has been an advisor to our house church network, a dear friend, and an advocate in the city for us as we journey into unexplored territory.  One thing that I love about Dick is that he is constantly learning.  Even though he is old enough to be my father, he is still humble enough to think that he can learn from me and my experience.  He’s a rare guy.

That made it easy when he emailed me a copy of his new book and asked me to endorse it.  The book was great but the reality is I wanted everyone to get a chance to see the guy I see regularly.  After I finished reading his manuscript, I wrote this:

“We live in a 24/7, non-stop, always connected, relentlessly busy world that leaves us more empty and alone than when we found it. Only God has a remedy for us.  God has made Richard a rich blend of a desert father, an evangelical contemplative, and a loving pastor. The result is a message that provokes you from all sides to rest in Jesus.  ‘Come Rest‘ is more than a book, it’s an invitation into the life of rest you were designed to live.”

I want to encourage you if you’re looking for a good devotional or you’re just looking to draw away a little deeper in the love of God, to consider picking up a copy of this book.  You can find it here or you can buy a copy at the “Apostolic Christianity Bookstore” found on the right hand column of this blog.

Several years ago, the Lord told Dick that he was to tell the earth “Come rest in My love.”  Join Dick as he shares the Lord’s heart with the world.