Need Something to Help You Break Through This Morning? Here it is!

You need this!

Scottythinks.com

Sometimes it can be hard to press through the busy-ness and get to God. This video will help you today and here’s why:

Sometimes during a worship service something changes in the atmosphere and you can hear the sound of heaven! It’s not in the music or even in the words people are saying. It is a palpable change in the spiritual atmosphere and it is as though you were standing in a dry creek bed when all at once the river comes rushing in and you are swept away with God’s Presence.

In this case, we were inching our way into the river throughout the service. Then, it happened! The sound! After a few seconds into this video you can hear the sound. Almost immediately after I stopped recording, everything broke loose!

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Liquid Prayers

From Charles Spurgeon, “Treasury of David”
“The Lord has heard the voice of my weeping.” Psalm 6:8
Is there a voice in weeping? Does weeping speak? In what language does it utter its meaning? Why, in that universal tongue which is known and understood in all the earth, and even in Heaven above. When a man weeps, whether he is a Jew or Gentile, Barbarian, Scythian, bond or free — it has the same meaning in it. Weeping is the eloquence of sorrow. It is an eloquent orator, needing no interpreter — but understood by all.
It is sweet to know that our tears are understood, even when words fail. Let us learn to think of tears as liquid prayers, and of weeping as a constant dropping of importunate intercession which will surely wear its way right into the very heart of God’s mercy, despite the stony difficulties which obstruct the way. My God, I will “weep” when I cannot plead, for You hear the voice of my weeping! 1

NOTES

1 https://www.gracegems.org/2013/08/liquid.html

Great Reunion!

It was a joy for me to gather with so many of you this morning for our DPP Reunion! If you missed it—you missed it!

I hope you were encouraged, maybe even reminded of some things. I also hope you can see how many other precious people have gone through the project as you have.

Of course, as I have said from the start, the Daily Prayer Project is not a one time class or event, it is an initiation into a community.

In 2018,

  • I hope to develop DPP 2.0 for those who have completed the initial project.
  • I am looking forward to a youth version of the project
  • Looking for our first young adult group
  • Will schedule a spring and fall reunion.

So,

  • be encouraged.
  • Take the DPP again.
  • Look for some of these developments to come about.
  • Participate on the website. (I will soon post a how-to video for those who have struggled with posting on the blog.)

Remember:

  • No guilt
  • Be honest with yourself about your efforts to pray
  • Keep the vision in focus

There is a Reason it’s Called Contending!

Sometimes in the Project someone will describe the difficulties they had in praying IMG_1062the week before every day/set time/set place, and I remind them “that’s why I named the book ‘Contending for the Habit of Daily Prayer.” It is a daily battle.

When you have had to struggle for prayer or you feel you have been attacked by the enemy because of prayer, don’t be surprised! That’s contending!

Be Encouraged!

I’m sitting here on Monday evening, reading a recent post on the accountability page, and thinking “I wish we could all touch base so that I know you are still pressing in!”

So, I fully intend to have an occasional reunion, but for now just know that you have done well and regardless of the difficulties God will give you prayer. He will give you the Secret Place if you do not allow yourself to become pulled back to the old way or to get discouraged. Also know that I am thinking of you and praying for you!

i would really love to see you guys talking to each other and responding to each other’s posts. You can start by responding to this one: let me know you are there and still going hard after the Secret Place!

My Favorite John Donne Sonnet

Batter my heart, three-person’d God
BY JOHN DONNE

Batter my heart, three-person’d God, for you
As yet but knock, breathe, shine, and seek to mend;

That I may rise and stand, o’erthrow me, and bend

Your force to break, blow, burn, and make me new.
I, like an usurp’d town to another due,
Labor to admit you, but oh, to no end;
Reason, your viceroy in me, me should defend,
But is captiv’d, and proves weak or untrue.
Yet dearly I love you, and would be lov’d fain,
But am betroth’d unto your enemy;
Divorce me, untie or break that knot again,
Take me to you, imprison me, for I,
Except you enthrall me, never shall be free,
Nor ever chaste, except you ravish me.

Rewritten for better understanding:

Batter my heart, three-person’d God!

For you as yet but knock, breathe, shine, and seek to mend.

That I may rise and stand: Overthrow me, and bend your force to break, blow, burn, and make me new.
I, like a usurped town to another due, labor to admit you [into the usurped town, i.e., “me”], but oh, to no end!

Reason—your viceroy in me—should defend me! But instead is captivated and proves weak or untrue.
Yet dearly I love you, and would be loved yes!
But am betrothed unto your enemy!
Divorce me! Untie or break that knot [of betrothal to the enemy] again!
Take me to you, imprison me! For I,
except you enthrall me, never shall be free,
nor ever chaste, except you ravish me.

Whose Door Is It Anyway?

In Matthew 6:6, the NIV says:

But when you pray, go into your room, close the door

However, the literal Greek is: “καὶ  κλείσας  τὴν θύραν σου” which is “and shutting the door of you.” Put into proper English, it translates to: “and shutting your door”

What’s the big deal?

First, I felt like the Lord reminded me to “shut the door.” In other words, don’t slide on the vision for prayer I have been promoting to others. Shutting the door means intentionally choosing to isolate myself from the outside world in order to be alone with God. Shutting the door means shutting out distractions—even important ones—and shutting myself in with God. Praying on the train, or in my car while I’m driving, or as I go throughout the day are simply no substitute for shutting myself in with God!

There’s one more thing…

It’s your door. Put another way: It’s your choice! We either make the choice to drag our flesh into the Secret Place—kicking and screaming if necessary—or we don’t. Let’s choose to do it.

One Thing is Needed

Welcome SGT Family! Here are a few notes that go with the message today! If you would like a pdf click here!

Luke 10:38-42, Personal Translation (pdf of my interlinear translation)

But as they went, He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha received Him. Also to her was a sister called Mary, who, while sitting down towards the feet of Jesus, was hearing His word. But Martha was being distracted around much serving; and having stood by, she said, “Lord, is there not a concern to you that my sister leaves me alone without assistance to serve? Therefore speak to her so that she will help me.” But, answering, the Lord said to her, “Martha Martha, you are anxious and disturbed around many things, but one thing is necessary; for Mary has chosen for herself the good portion such that will not be taken away from her.”

Martha was distracted.

Περισπαω from περι “Around” and σπαω “to draw [like a sword]. To draw different ways at the same time, hence to distract with cares and responsibilities . . . to be drawn around in mind or to be distracted, preoccupied with cares or business.”

If I am distracted it means that something has come along and caused me not to be attracted to something that otherwise would get or needed my attention. The attraction is interrupted; I was a-ttracted but now I am dis-tracted.

The word “tract” in many English applications means to draw out, capable of being drawn out, etc. so A-ttract is “to pull to” something. To dis-tract is “to pull away” from something. Can you see that in both there is a particular focus point. One moves to the focus point, the other is pulled away from the focus point.

Martha had been “drawn away” by the duties of serving. It was almost like something gripped and her and simply pulled her away. But she didn’t want to go alone. She had determined that what was needed in that moment was for her and her sister to prepare a meal for the guests or to serve them in some way. It was a big enough job that Martha felt like she needed help. Her perspective crashed into Jesus’ when He said, “Martha Martha, you are anxious and disturbed around many things, but one thing is necessary” and that Mary had chosen that part.

  1. Distracted by our priorities

One of the things that Martha had her eyes on was the need to serve those who had come to her house. Now, whether she enjoyed it or not is another question. In this story we see that she feels the job should not be hers alone. It may be that she needed help or it may be that she resented her sister on principle for not helping.

  1. Distracted by a preoccupation of what others are doing, not doing.

In any case, we see the second thing that gets Martha’s attention and that’s a preoccupation with what Mary should be doing.

  1. Does Jesus care?

Maybe it’s not too much to mention that she is also distracted by the fact that Jesus does not seem to care that Mary isn’t helping. She wants Jesus to tell her to leave His side and His words and get in that kitchen and help! [Jesus not only doesn’t seem to care that Mary isn’t helping, He also seems to not care too much whether He gets served. How many times have we occupied ourselves and others with doing things that God never asked us to do?]

What pulls you away from God? What pulls you away from holiness? What pulls you away from your intention to pray and get closer to God?

Mary made a choice. Jesus affirmed her choice.

Only one thing is needed. Isn’t that too simple? How long have you paid lip service to God by saying you trust Him and you want Him first when in reality you are fully occupied with making your own luck?!

My Week

I have struggled for a week or more with distraction. I have been concerned wondering what is wrong. My dreams Friday night were busy; different short scenarios where someone would run and get something that was needed or do something to fix a situation. Saturday morn I woke up with a sense of desperation.

All at once I had a thought. One that I am accustomed to having but couldn’t find in the last week. More than a thought. More like a heart cry: “Lord, I just want you.” Everything broke open and the Lord began to show me that I had been experiencing the kind of distraction I was planning to preach about. But I was given fresh insight that showed me that it is not as simple as just being busy and the solution is not as easy as just stopping the busy-ness. I also realized that it can be painful.

  • It’s about arriving at that place where, like Mary, you are able from your heart to choose the good portion. “Lord, I just want you.” Only one thing is necessary.
  • It’s about understanding that this must be given to you.
  • It’s about being able to recognize distraction.
  • It’s about being honest with yourself about what you really desire most.
  • It’s about choosing not to make excuses for yourself.
  • It’s about coming to terms with the revelation that only one thing is needful. Do you believe this?