Grant each of us
seeking eyes to see Your face,
listening ears to hear Your voice,
outstretched hands to serve the poor,
a loving heart to embrace the stranger,
an honest tongue to bring justice in the earth,
and moving feet to go where peace is not yet found.
In the Name of the Word-made-flesh,
because You dwell among us.
In the spring of 2000, in South Bend, Indiana, there was a drought.
Through some bargain book sale, I had purchased a copy of the book Healing the Land: A Supernatural View of Ecology by Winkie Pratney. After reading the book, I concluded 2 things: God can heal the land, literally, and one way He does this is as we fast and pray and humble ourselves. As the LORD says in 2 Chronicles 7:14, “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
God made a promise, so I wanted to take Him up on that pledge. Many times in my life I had fasted in a half-hearted manner. To focus in, I decided to fast for 1 whole day. After taking my medicine one evening and having a light snack, I started fasting. By late afternoon & early evening of the fast I was thirsty and hungry … so I drank a little water and ate a small snack.
I felt horrible. I had failed.
Ok, if I failed the first day, I will try again. So I again took my medicine, ate a small snack and drank some water and went to bed.
The next day was the middle of the week. I went to work in the morning and studied in the afternoon. I was a little tired, but determined to fast. It was going to rain, I just knew it. When I walked out of the house that evening to go to the midweek Bible study and prayer meeting, I overheard the news.
“It looks like it isn’t going to rain again,” the weatherman said.
“What does he know!” I thought.
Then I went outside and realized, Oh, it doesn’t look like it is going to rain.
I drove to church in a somber mood. I listened to a devotional on the resurrection and spending time with the Lord. Then we spent time in prayer. In the group of 3 that I was in, I got to pray first.
My pride had to be confessed. I had to admit my stubbornness and my impatience and a number of other sins. They are too numerous to list in this short testimony. Basically, pride was the big one. We prayed intensely for the various needs mentioned in the Bible study common time and for the needs we each had.
When we lifted our heads and talked, we were the last group to stop praying. The newest member of the prayer group said, “Now that was some prayer!” I was still saddened by the realization about how arrogant I had been.
After the service dismissed, we walked outside and headed home. As I walked to the car, something was different. The air smelled different. There seemed to be a fresh air, but I wasn’t sure quite what it was. As I drove along the familiar way back to the house, I noticed that the streets were wet. It had rained!
My heart was joyful. Few times in my life have I been as flooded with pure joy. God had heard the cries of His people!!
I realized that my life, however small and insignificant, really does make a difference in the earth. As the season continued, the rains continued.
Since then and following the talk about the threat of global warming, I wonder, “What if God’s people around the world would humble themselves and pray and seek God’s face? Could it be that there would indeed be a true healing of the whole earth? The most important thing that we can do for the environment is surely to repent and return to the Lord and rest in Him.”
burst hot air balloons
and in the midst
of sorrow and mockery
tears break the eye
over life lost
over paradise lost
over love lost
in a moment it is over
for a death is over
Pray for doors of relationship to open up to share the good news among unreached peoples.
Pray for the Holy Spirit to prepare hearts of the unreached to hear and embrace the gospel.
Pray for persons of peace to emerge who will create a bridge to unreached peoples.
Pray for opportunities to meet physical, educational, social and spiritual needs.
Pray for translation of Scripture and gospel presentations into their language.
Pray that God will demonstrate his power over evil spirits that enslave the people.
Pray for God to show himself supernaturally through dreams, visions, miracles.
Pray for the Holy Spirit to guide workers to those he has prepared.
Pray “to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.”
Oh, how I wish that I could hear your cries,
and wipe the tears from both your glist’ning eyes:
As if by listening, calm your aching sighs,
As if to mourn for every death you’ve died.
I’d want to take away a bit of pain and hurt
and wash away from wounds the stinging dirt.
And then make known the Father’s worth,
His love, and how He gives you noble birth.
We’ll trust Jesus for healing that will come
and thank Him for the victory that He’s won.
The Spirit helps us in the race we run
and guides us to the Kingdom of the Son.
We bear each other’s burdens: laws are kept-
For we have shared the loss for which we’ve wept.
Don’t be a fly in the ointment of love’s perfume, whispers the beloved.
Don’t lie to me, cries every soul.
Don’t act like an imperial cheeseburger, laughs the mockers.
Don’t lose heart, urges the hopeful.
Don’t tell me what to do, insists the weak but independent.
Don’t put me down, pleads the ordinary.
Don’t control my life, communicates the free.
Don’t work against us, harmonizes the chorus of the cooperative.
Don’t wallow in your filth, weeps the doctor over his patient.
Don’t die in your sins, preaches the peasant priest.
Don’t think more highly of yourself than you ought, expounds the humble missionary.
Moment by moment I live by Your mercy.
Moment by moment, by what I have heard.
Moment by moment I live by Your grace.
I live by Your spoken Word.
I wait for You every dim evening
I wait for You all the night long.
I wait for You early each morning
I wait each day with a song!
Moment by moment I live by Your Truth.
Moment by moment I will understand.
Moment by moment I live by Your love,
Live by Your upholding hand.
Moment by moment I live by Your life.
Moment by moment I live by Your bread.
Moment by moment I live by Your blood.
By Jesus our risen Head.
Moment by moment I face You as Judge.
Moment by moment I live in Your court.
Moment by moment I face You as King.
Walk with You, Sovereign Lord.
It is no exaggeration to say that one can trace the whole outline of Biblical theology and salvation history through the motif of clothing. — “Garments,” Dictionary of Biblical Imagery. Downers Grove: IVP, 1998, p 318.
Torn between right and wrong,
I find myself dancing a wayward song
I find myself weak, though once strong.
Torn down, abandoned and forsaken by myself
and all my friends, my foes, yet not God Himself.
I take His dusty book off of the shelf.
I find my way has wandered far
I wanted to be among the stars
I wanted to claim a noble heart.
Instead, I find I’ve forgotten joy.
I have forsaken truth for petty toys.
I have ignored His Word and heeded noise.
God, leave me not alone.
Hear my aches and pains and groans.
Shine upon my heart and strengthen weary bones.
Lord, lift me up upon Your cross
Let me rise with you and count this life as loss.
Let not my sleep disappear amid the storms that toss.
If that is you, I dare to ask,
Call me forward in a simple task.
Let me drink deep the Supper’s fruity flask.
Let love again hold up my soul.
Let truth again make me pure and whole.
Let your Spirit reach each part and make me full.
Tears wash away my vanity.
Tears waste away my veil of sanity.
Tars soil my claim to chastity.
A deep stain exposes the wretchedness of my eyes.
A deep pain reveals the confusion of my cries.
A deeply planted grain grows out of the depths of mind.
Faith that the Word of God remains true.
Hope that the resurrection of Jesus applies to me and you.
Love that changes my life and impatient, cruel view.