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Sunday, April 29, 2012

Prayer Is Hard Work -

One of my many favorite blogs to read is
This article on prayer can be found there.  I hope you enjoy and will check out the other articles on this site.

Though prayer is instictive, it is also difficult labor. David M’Intyre makes and explains this point in his book The Hidden Life of Prayer:

Instinctive as is our dependence upon God, no duty is more earnestly impressed upon us in Scripture than the duty of continual communion with Him. The main reason for this unceasing insistence is the arduousness of prayer. In its nature it is a laborious undertaking, and in our endeavor to maintain the spirit of prayer we are called to wrestle against principalities and powers of darkness.
Dear Christian reader,” says Jacob Boehme, “to pray aright is right earnest work.” Prayer is the most sublime energy of which the spirit of man is capable. It is in one aspect glory and blessedness; in another, it is toil and travail, battle and agony. Uplifted hands grow tremulous long before the field is won; straining sinews and panting breath proclaim the exhaustion of the “heavenly footman.” The weight that falls upon an aching heart fills the brow with anguish, even when the midnight air is chill. Prayer is the uplift of the earth-bound soul into the heaven, the entrance of the purified spirit into the holiest; the rending of the luminous veil that shuts in, as behind curtains, the glory of God. It is the vision of things unseen; the recognition of the mind of the Spirit; the effort to frame words which man may not utter. A man that truly prays one prayer,” says Bunyan, “shall after that never be able to express with his mouth or pen the unutterable desires, sense, affection, and longing that went to God in that prayer.” The saints of the Jewish Church had a princely energy in intercession: “Battering the gates of heaven with storms of prayer,” they took the kingdom of heaven by violence. The first Christians proved in the wilderness, in the dungeon, in the arena, and at the stake the truth of their Master’s words, “He shall have whatsoever he saith.” Their souls ascended to God in supplication as the flame of the altar mounts heavenward. The Talmudists affirm that in the divine life four things call for fortitude; of these prayer is one. One who met Tersteegen at Kronenberg remarked, “It seemed to me as if he had gone straight into heaven, and had lost himself in God; but often when he had done praying he was as white as the wall.” David Brainerd notes that on one occasion, when he found his soul “exceedingly enlarged” in supplication, he was “in such anguish, and pleaded with so much earnestness and importunity,” that when he rose from his knees he felt “extremely weak and overcome.” “I could scarcely walk straight,” he goes on to say, “my joints were loosed, the sweat ran down my face and body, and nature seemed as if it would dissolve.” A living writer has reminded us of John Foster, who used to spend long nights in his chapel, absorbed in spiritual exercises, pacing to and fro in the disquietude of his spirit, until his restless feet had worn a little track in the aisle.
Another explanation of the arduousness of prayer lies in the fact that we are spiritually hindered: there is “the noise of archers in the places of drawing water.” St. Paul assures us that we shall have to maintain our prayer energy “against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Dr. Andrew Bonar used to say that, as the King of Syria commanded his captains to fight neither with small nor great, but only with the King of Israel, so the prince of the power of the air seems to bend all the force of his attack against the spirit of prayer. If he should prove victorious there, he has won the day. Sometimes we are conscious of a satanic impulse directed immediately against the life of prayer in our souls; sometimes we are led into “dry” and wilderness-experiences, and the face of God grows dark above us; sometimes, when we strive most earnestly to bring every thought and imagination under obedience to Christ, we seem to be given over to disorder and unrest; sometimes the inbred slothfulness of our nature lends itself to the evil one as an instrument by which he may turn our minds back from the exercise of prayer. Because of all these things, therefore, we must be diligent and resolved, watching as a sentry who remembers that the lives of men are lying at the hazard of his wakefulness, resourcefulness, and courage. “And what I say unto you,” said the Lord to His disciples, “I say unto all, Watch! ”

Friday, April 13, 2012

Just for Fun!

Kolby and I had so much fun today sitting in the doctor's office. She has a tenderness and pain in her right side on and off for a couple of months now. We decided it was time to have it checked out. The doctor ordered a CAT scan for next week. You can join us in praying that we find an answer and that the answer will be a non-serious easy fix.

Back to the fun! The lab tech was having a bad day or maybe she is just a very unhappy person but it was obvious she did not enjoy our humor. Kolby wanted me to take her picture as she was getting her blood drawn. The lady acknowledged by her expression and sharpness in her question that was a strange idea. When Kolby wanted me to hold her hand, the lab tech expressed she would have to be a big girl because she needed to draw blood from that arm. Being my darling, gentle self (ha), I told her I would hold her other hand. When she went to draw the blood, I believe she enjoyed jabbing the needle into her vein and when the blood did not flow, she enjoyed digging for it. It looked painful and the lab tech looked like she was finally having a good time! We really tried to engage this woman. I do not know her but she seemed unhappy and hurting in some way. I hope our humor and laughter encourages her the rest of the day. She could at least be thankful we left!

“In the fear of the Lord there is strong confidence, and His children will have a place of refuge. Prov. 14:26”

“A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. Prov. 15:1”

“In mercy and truth atonement is provided for iniquity. And by the fear of the LORD one departs from evil. Prov. 16:7”

“He who has knowledge spares his words, and a man of understanding is of a calm spirit. Even a fool is counted wise when he holds his peace; when he shuts his lips, he is considered perceptive. Prov. 17:27-28”

“The discretion of a man makes him slow to anger, and his glory is to overlook a transgression. Prov. 19:11”

Kolby and I had to sit and wait for the lab results. The lab tech was supposed to run them in the office but she sent them out instead. This caused us to sit for a couple of hours. Now when the Dilbeck's are in a small room with no windows for a while our strange humor begins to take over. We laughed as we thought about our experience with lab-zilla. We sang songs. We talked about Kolby’s childhood. Kolby gave me a new name, Anita-(I need a...) We bonded. We make faces and finally we played tic tac toe and hang man on the table paper cover.

It was just enjoyable to be stuck in a room with my 18 year old daughter.

“Oh, how great is Your goodness, which You have laid up for those who fear You, which You have prepared for those who trust in You, In the presence of the sons of men! Ps. 31:19”

Our family dynamics are changing. The last child is graduating. I'm really not sure how I feel about this, as I have not put much thought into it. Maybe I'm a little scared to think too deeply about it. After all raising our kids to leave is really the goal. She loves the Lord. She walks and serves Him daily. We are blessed to be given a "Kolby" as our child.

“Even a child is known by his deed, whether what he does is pure and right. Prov. 20:11”

“He who follows righteousness and mercy finds life, righteousness and honor. Prov. 21:21”

“Let not mercy and truth forsake you: Bind them around your neck, write them on the tablet of your heart, and so find favor and high esteem in the sight of God and man. Proverbs 3:3”

I hope each of you can find joy in the mundane things of life. I think we need more doctor appointments or at least need to take the opportunities to sit as prisoners behind four walls staring into the face of each other.

Take that time today!