2018: The Year of the Secret Place—the Year We Pursue the Fragrance of Jesus

I’m declaring 2018 the Year of the Secret Place! More specifically, a year of putting everything aside except fellowship with God and immersing ourselves in His Word and His Presence. A year of pursuing intimacy with Him. A year of pursuing the fragrance of Jesus. A year of cultivating a longing for His voice and a longing for His promise to confide in us (Psalm 25:14, Amos 3:7).

I have goals as I am sure you do. I have obstacles working against me as you do I’m sure. But I’m purposing my heart to pursue these things! This is the year!

Don’t Forget Faith!

Sometimes—especially when we have experienced some remarkable times in the Presence of God—we can find ourselves struggling and even discouraged when we can’t seem to find God. Sometimes there may be a reason we can’t seem to enter into His Presence—an attitude, a sin, an offense—but I think most of the time it is just because we are human and susceptible to the ups and downs of emotion and physical/mental energy, etc. BUT HERE IS AN IMPORTANT POINT TO REMEMBER: Our access into the Presence of God is not our ability to feel a certain way. It is our faith! Sometimes just remembering that fact is enough to jar our hearts and press through the numbness that can happen to us!

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. (Romans 5:1-2, NIV, 1984)

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

When You Think You Have Surrendered It All

Phil 3I have been struggling lately in prayer and not able to pinpoint the problem.

There’s not always a problem just because you don’t feel a certain way in prayer. The lack of emotion in your prayer time is not always a reliable indicator of how your prayer time is going. Think about it: My connection to those closest to me does not disappear just because I have a day where I don’t feel emotionally close to them or am distracted by the details of life. Genuine love and intimacy persist through such temporary things. But after a while, if things don’t get back to normal, it is wise to prayerfully examine your own heart and thinking.

In my case, I️ have been suspecting that the problem was distraction. Not phones ringing, or interruptions, but, in this case, a competing distraction.

This particular distraction is noble, useful, and, in my case, done for upright reasons. Yet, because it is something I️ also happen to enjoy immensely, it can be a distraction.

I️ have been praying for a few weeks now, asking the Lord to show me what He would have me do about this noble distraction. I feel that He gave me Philippians 3:7-8 (which you can see in context in the attached graphic).

But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things.As a result, I am examining the distraction in light of what really matters. Will He teach me to pursue this noble activity in a different way or give it up altogether? If He has me to give it up, what will have me do instead? Perhaps it is the doing that is the problem! We will see. For now, I am still wrestling but I understand the struggle now and will continue to pray about it until He wins!

Why wait until we get to heaven?

The following are two journal entries from Amber Floridia. Amber participated in The Daily Prayer Project online and has stayed with it ever since! She posts every week about her prayer times and I asked her to share something I could post. Be blessed by thisPraying young lady glimpse into the spiritual pursuit of this precious young lady.

9/28/17

As soon as I opened my eyes this morning I heard what sounded like a choir of women singing, “Obedience to the Lord brings forth many blessings.” Hallelujah! As I was worshiping Him this morning I was singing “Not in a hurry” by Will Reagan. As I was singing to Jesus I saw a sick man and I felt Him remind me of Matthew 25:40&45. I felt Him say don’t be in a hurry to spend time with the sick, the hurting, the dying, the lost etc. Thank you Jesus for Your words! Please help me to not be in a hurry when the opportunity comes up to help those like in Mathew 25:35-36. In Jesus’ name amen!

Later on today as I was getting ready to leave I was walking around my house I was praying for my Grandpa and his aid. I was rushing on my way out to get a pedicure. But my grandpa’s nurse’s car was blocking me in the driveway. So I kindly went to her to ask her to move it for me and when she came back we got to talking about her situation. She was telling me how badly she needed prayer and that she was tired of people saying they would pray for her and then not do it. I told her how the Lord already led me to pray for her from my house that morning and I got to pray for her right then and there and she was so grateful. Then we started talking about how awesome Jesus is and how when she gets to heaven and sees Jesus face to face she’s going to dance and dance. I told her I’m going to just sob and sob at His feet and then dance around. Thank you Jesus for already giving me and opportunity to love on people who are hurting and feel lonely! Wow!

 

9/29/17

At the Table tonight we were singing “Good Good Father” a song I’ve probably heard/sung a thousand times. Tonight though was different. We got up to the verse “love so undeniable I, I can hardly speak. Peace so unexplainable I, I can hardly think.” And I couldn’t even finish singing the verse because I felt His love fall on me in such a strong way I just started laughing out of joy. Then the laughter turned into sobs of Joy and I fell onto my knees and just sobbed and laughed out of joy and His overwhelming love. It was so amazing. I don’t think I’ve ever felt His love that strongly before and I’ll never forget it! Then Olga challenged us to not hold back in our worship to Him because He deserves it! And I thought to myself YEAH HE DOES! So I danced around the room and didn’t hold back or care about anyone else in the room but Jesus.

 

After writing all of these things in my journal I realized that the conversation I had with my grandpa’s aid about meeting Jesus face to face in Heaven came full circle at the Table. Me falling at His feet sobbing and then dancing around. That actually happened! Right here on earth! As I realize this I feel Him telling me that there’s no better time to worship Him and love Him with all our hearts than right here and now. Spirit to spirit. He lives in us so why should we wait to worship Him face to face? (Romans 8:11, Galatians 2:20) Why wait until we get to Heaven? (1 Peter 2:9)

Come to the DPP Family Reunion!

Did you attend the Daily Prayer Project this year? If so, then you are part of the DPP Family and you are invited to attend the Daily Prayer Project Family Reunion.Family Reunion 2017

We will have refreshments, a chance to reconnect, and maybe pick up some fresh encouragement. THIS IS NOT A CLASS! Just a chance to stay connected with those you went through the project with and to meet some others who went through it as well.

I hope we will see you on Sunday, December 3, at 10:30am, in room A-207 (next door to where we held the project)!