Intimacy First!

Can you put it into wordsHad a great reunion of sorts with some of the DPP family this morning! I really love this group of people. I’m proud of them and thankful for them.

I just felt that I should invite as many from the DPP family as possible to come this Sunday to talk about The Foundations of Our Pursuit of Intimacy With Jesus. Ten of them came and it was a joy!

We talked about

  • putting our desire for intimacy with Jesus into words.
  • the progression from praise to worship to intimacy.
  • allowing ourselves legitimacy in prayer by thinking about ourselves as God thinks of us, which, if we are saved, is as righteous. God thinks of us as righteous.
  • how our prayers for others will be more effectual when they flow from a place of intimacy with Jesus.
  • how we have been conditioned to think of intimacy in terms of “doing” and how that doesn’t work in our human relationships and that it doesn’t work in our relationship with God.

Want to be part of the Daily Prayer Project family? Just call 631-265-2485.

Announcing: Continuing Connection!

continuing conenction graphic.png

I am excited to announce that, starting  on April 15, from 10:30 am-11:30 am, in Room A-207 (next door to where we had our project meetings), we will launch what will essentially be a support program for the Daily Prayer Project called, Continuing Connection. 

It will be:

  • weekly (though at times subject to cancellation due to the DPP projects)
  • only for those who have successfully completed the Daily Prayer Project
  • informal 
  • focused

It’s purpose will be: 

  • to encourage one another toward continuing in our pursuit of the Secret Place and intimacy with Jesus.
  • provide accountability and support, and 
  • to look in-depth (still informal) at passages of scripture that encourage intimacy with Jesus. 

Rationale:

There are three reasons that it is time to do this.

  1. It is the perfect way to provide continuing support for those who go through DPP but continue to struggle with prayer.
  2. I need this!
  3. I want an ongoing connection with those who have already gone through the project and, of course, those who will go through it in the future. Remember when we started I said DPP was not just a program but the beginning of a community!

Continuing Connection will be a no-pressure, non-threatening place to get encouragement and inspiration! You don’t have to come every week to participate.

I hope you will prayerfully consider coming. 

 

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

O God, do something in our days!

“Look at the nations and watch—and be utterly amazed. For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told.” Habakkuk 1:5

Isn’t this what we want? We want Him to do something in our days. That’s what Habakkuk wanted, but he wanted God to follow his plan. Instead, God began to let Habakkuk in on what He wanted to do.

What is the key to answered prayer? Pray the heart of God. How can we do that? We must first know the heart of God. How? Answer this: How have you gotten to know the heart of your spouse, your children, your brother or sister? Your best friend? Through time spent with them. Real time; intimate time. It’s no different with God.

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!

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!