Are you completely unaware a King's table has been prepared for you; an honored place at the table awaits you; an open invitation to eat and drink and to be fully satisfied is always available? Do you want that? Many are completely unaware this table has a place reserved just for them.
Awaken to a table set up in mercy by getting real with God.
Many carry unnecessary burden. Unnecessary because God has already taken the burden away. Yet many are completely unaware. Their soul is starving; yet the bread is right there. Their soul is dying of thirst while abundant water and Heavenly supply overflows within humble reach. It does not have to be so.
This week I saw a clear example of one "completely unaware" in the a prayer of a stranger. Her prayer was carefully recorded in her own writing in an open guest book of a hospital chapel I visited. Her prayer was somewhat desperate in tone. She wanted to know that God was real, and that she was seen by Him. Her main request wanted healing in a relationship with a boyfriend. It reminded me of my prayers many years ago. In those times, my prayers were quite desperate. Yet it was mostly focused on what I wanted, who I wanted, and the way I wanted prayers answered. Yes I wanted to know I was seen by God; but mostly I wanted what I wanted. Those prayers didn't work out.
God's not a magic genie fulfilling desperate wishes. He is holy and merciful; and will offer supernatural help; but first we must get real. He answers the prayer of the humble who see Him as holy and who realize the desperate state of their own soul. He is willing to answer that one in joyful abundance. His tender mercy reaches down to the lowly and raises them up in new life. He is willing to do it every single day until the end of forever, which by the way is never. Do you want His mercy that never ends?
There is a prayer in the Bible by a man named Isaiah that reveals God's nature to reach down and heal the humble. His prayer inspires this blog's prayer exercise. Isaiah's words and his supernatural account are recorded in the 6th chapter of the book of Isaiah. In it, Isaiah has a mind blowing encounter with God's holy presence. It affects him in such a way that he is "laid out" before God. He cries out, "Woe to me! I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips..."
Ruined here means cut off from holy places, destined to be destroyed. And unclean lips here means a foul mouth, corrupted speech, polluted talk, impure language. We need not look very deep within ourselves or among the lips of others to see that uncleanness abounds. Our human nature is not in line with God's holy nature; and Isaiah realized that in spades.
How did God answer Isaiah? Did He say, "That's right Isaiah you are completely unworthy, you should be ashamed of yourself, get out of my sight! I sentence you to death." No. No. No. That's not how God answered Isaiah's humble confession.
God immediately answered Isaiah's self-abasing hopelessness with His mercy and holy help.
Upon Isaiah's humble confession, God immediately cleansed Isaiah's lips, took his guilt, and covered over all his sin. God took his burden of soul and made him clean and gave him holy purpose. Do you want that?
In mercy, God touched Isaiah's unclean lips. In mercy God took Isaiah's iniquity away. What is iniquity? It means to be crooked, to have a bent or warped nature. God took his bent and warped nature away! He covered his sin! God can do the same for all who cry out like Isaiah did. God wants to take our warped nature and give us His divine and holy nature, 2 Peter 1:34. But we need to get real with ourselves and ask for God's help.
You are invited to the table of mercy. A seat at the King's table has been waiting for you. Do you want to dine at God's table? Use Isaiah's prayer language as inspiration to dine with God.
I used his words today for time with God. I reflected on my former state as well as my daily need. Don't judge :). Maybe you will see yourself in my words. Feel free to use them to help you find words for your "Isaiah 6" prayer to God.
"Woe to me, for I should be ruined. For I am one of unclean lips God. I am someone who has..
(Note-As you reflect on your own list, if you have never received Christ's holy mercy, ask Jesus to have mercy on you. You can say something like, "God have mercy on me, touch my lips, take my guilt, forgive my crooked and rebellious ways." He will quickly reply.
Hear God's immediate answer to your humble confession...
"By my holy Word and covenant you are made clean. I've touched you and taken away your broken nature. I've already paid the penalty for your sins. I love you. My anger has turned away from you my child. You are forgiven and made new. Trust in Me and do not be afraid. I will heal; I provide for all your needs. Keep coming to Me. Get to know Me more. Follow Me. I alone offer you abundance of life that is truly life. Nothing else will satisfy. Never will I leave you or forsake you. You are mine. FOREVER."
Be blessed in this prayer exercise! His mercies are new every morning!
Lamentations 3: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
Spend some time in prayer picturing God holding you and carrying you.
Previous blog posts have included similar prayer exercise. Scripture contains images useful in prayer. Images that help internalize God's love and truth.
I use scripture not just for myself but for others as well, to envision individuals with God within the context of scripture. Sometimes God has given me images back.
The images that have come have been interesting. As example, for Deuteronomy 33:3, sometimes the image I've gotten is a person clinging to Jesus like in the image seen above, Sometimes a picture forms of one ashamed to come near. Sometimes one is too distracted by "life" to draw near. And sometimes one is walking hand in hand with Christ, or shoulder to shoulder. Sometimes Jesus has been dancing with the person, or carrying one like bride, offering a rose, listening joyfully and intently to the person who shares their heart in His presence. Those are just some examples. Basically there are various ways and thoughts God has towards his own that are personal, intimate, and meant to minister deeply to that one. Often I’ve shared those images with the people I prayed for and time-after-time, received response of how deeply it spoke to them and how it ministered. People can have a hard time seeing themselves in these ways with God. But He wants you to believe and receive it for comfort and soul revival.
God doesn't change. He still extends His love and truth down to His people. Just like a child needs comforting love and affirmation from their human father, children of God also deeply need comforting love and affirmation from their Heavenly Father. He’s willing to give it. Your need for it is especially critical if you never received it from a human father!
I am not the only one that can pray in scripture image. God's word is very visual and you can also use it to "see" yourself within the promises. And that is today's exercise. In prayer, you can practice envisioning God holding you in His hand. You can envision Him carrying you as described in Deuteronomy 1:29-31.
Why should you try it and how is it helpful? I will give you an example from this morning. I needed to envision God carrying me today because circumstances of late have intensified in unexpected areas, leaving me overburdened. I've been feeling depressed in some of the intense loneliness and brokenness I've had to witness in nursing home settings over the last couple of weeks. It's left me stupefied. When I feel this way, I can’t settle in prayer. So in my struggle this morning, I started repeatedly saying, “Gina, God is carrying you.” Then I switched to, “Jesus, you're carrying me.”
The truth of that was very comforting. I felt much calmer and started breathing more deeply. This helped me start “seeing” in my mind’s eye God carrying me. I focused on my feet being off the ground because it was comforting to think of Him carrying all of my weight and burdens. I like imagining being in His arms as He carries me and moves me forward. I got to the point where my mind imagined my head resting on his shoulder and my arms around his neck, just enjoying the assurance of His strong steps underneath me. This prayer time lasted about 5 minutes. Before I knew it, I was singing a worship song, then up and starting my day freely. No longer anxious and tied up internally the way I was just 30 minutes prior.
Before prayer this morning, I was truly struggling for about 60 minutes about “this” and “that”. I was fretting and totally confused about what was most important to do today. Yet all was transformed to peace with just 5 minutes of meditating and 5 minutes of praise.
How do you struggle? When you get pressured and feel stupefied, do you find prayer frustrating? Do you push yourself forward though not at peace? Maybe you cut yourself off from doing things that would reveal a greater trust in God’s provision and help? As a simple example, after time with God today, I gave myself permission to make a lentil soup from the chicken bone broth I made this week. That may sound silly; but when I feel "behind" I typically do not give myself permission to take time for enjoyable things. Instead, I push myself forward into the day. However after 5 minutes of God's affirming provision and care, I felt free to do it, super thankful of the peace and simple joy I got from making soup in my kitchen!
Take some time to think about how you “punish” or “push” yourself. Notice your own behaviors. Bring them to God and let him redirect. Ask for help to rest in His care.
Below are some simple steps to do what I did above in prayer. And here are 2 scriptures to help you “see” yourself within God’s promise to carry and comfort:
Deuteronomy 1:29-31- Then I said to you, “Do not be terrified; do not be afraid of them. The Lord your God, who is going before you, will fight for you, as he did for you in Egypt, before your very eyes, and in the wilderness. There you saw how the Lord your God carried you, as a father carries his son, all the way you went until you reached this place.”
John 6:37- All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away.
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Prayer is Gift!
Hi my name is Gina; and I'm the founder of the ministry. My 25 year journey with God has been centered on immersing myself in the safe relationship God offers, learning about the power of surrender, and praying for His life in greater measure!