Groaning too deep for words

Do you ever have a hard time praying?

I certainly do, all the time! One of my favorite verses about it that reminds me of the true nature of prayer is Romans 8:26. Here’s what is says:

“The Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit himself INTERCEDES for us with groanings too deep for words.” Romans 8:26

Isn’t that incredible? The Spirit of God Himself works within the hearts of believers to communicate with the Father. This communication, this groaning is on a level that is even deeper than even our prettiest words and prettiest prayers.

The next time that you find yourself desperate for praying “the right or pretty way,” let it go and let God take over. He doesn’t require prayers that sound like poetry or even make complete sense. But God listens to you always, even to the groaning that lives in your heart that is too deep for even words.

Happy Thanksgiving!

“Give thanks to the Lord for He is good.

His steadfast love endures

forever.”

Psalm 118:1

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Happy Late Thanksgiving!  This past thanksgiving, we had even more to be thankful for than usual:

wonderful food,

 

times with family,

 

and even abled surgeons and nurses.

On Thanksgiving day, we spent all of the day eating and enjoying time together, but the day after, we found ourselves in an even sweeter time of prayer and today, an even sweeter day of giving thanks.  My brother’s precious girlfriend, Jessica, began to feel sick early yesterday morning, but her pain soon progressed.  Little did we know that she had appendicitis, but even so, we took her to my dad’s office at the hospital, and she was admitted to the hospital.

Although we would have never wished this upon her or anyone, we were grateful for how God had worked out every single detail.  The nursing staff was wonderful, the surgeon was skilled, and Jess was surrounded by people that love and care for her all-day.  Praise the Lord that even her mom, dad, and sister were able to get right to the room before she was wheeled off to pre-op. God is always good.

Right now, Jess is sleeping on our couch downstairs, and her family is eating lunch with our family.  We are praising God for times for healing but remembering that He is always good, and no matter what, His steadfast love endures forever!

Living in SONshine

Just this past Monday, I saw two guys standing outside a main building on campus holding signs for free prayer.  In my heart, I wanted to go and talk to them, to pray with them and for them–thanking God for their courage to stand in the middle of campus and pray for others.  But in my head, I made excuses… Oh I’m with my friend, and we are supposed to be eating lunch right now before class… I can come back after lunch! We went to lunch, but when I came back by, they were gone.

My heart sank when I didn’t see the signs, and I prayed and prayed that God would forgive me because I felt like I had abandoned him.  He had presented Himself to me in the form of these two guys holding signs, yet I chose something else anyway.  And so I prayed for forgiveness, but I also prayed for a second chance, a second opportunity to see those guys holding signs for free prayer.

Can you guess who I saw today after I left class?  That’s right, they were there!

This time, I stopped, and on the busiest stretch of sidewalk on campus, we prayed.

***

There are so many things that I want to say about this experience, but today I will leave it to you to make your own conclusion.  I will say this, though.  The next time God gives you an opportunity, I pray that you will take the step toward Him and not away.  Just as I learned today, there is an incredible amount of joy that comes from running to Him and living in His Sonshine.

Created for something greater

Here we are.  We have reached that point in the year where it’s all we can do to keep up or even just break even.

This quote by Mother Teresa has been a great reminder of what our focus should always be.  Keep in mind, she is not saying that you can throw your work to the side and say, “Oh, it doesn’t matter!  All I have to do is love and be loved.”  What she is saying is this: in and through all things, we were created to love and be loved for and by God.

“I have seen the business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with…

I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live;

also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil–

this is God’s gift to man.”

Ecclesiastes 3:10, 12-13

In all that we do, we must always remember that it is the Lord that we are serving (Colossians 3:23) and that this is one of His gifts to us: an opportunity to love and be loved.   Every time that we begin to feel bogged down by the weight of expectations–whether from school, work, our peers, or even from our own selves–we must always remember that God is greater than all of that.

We are called for something greater than a frame to hang on our wall or a paragraph to add to our resume.  We were created to love and be loved by God.  It’s Him that we’re given the opportunity to serve through our work, school, and every other aspect of our everyday lives.

We are  called for something greater.  We were called to love and be loved by God.

Matthew 6:27-30

“And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?

And why are you anxious about clothing?

Consider the lilies of the field,

how they grow: they neither toil nor spin,

yet I tell you,

even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

But if God so clothes the grass of the field…will he not much more clothe you?”

Matthew 6:27-30