Guest Blog: "the exact place I found myself almost 9 years ago..." - Psalm 118:17
This week's post is from a woman I met last year through a church event. Since, I've paid attention to her FB posts; and have seen she is a woman who honors and loves God. Stephanie has boldly proclaimed him and given Him glory in the midst of weaknesses, blessings, and life as a single mom of 4. We met for coffee recently and I asked her to pen a post. I hope you enjoy what she shares below. I hope you take it as an encouragement to spend time falling into God's arms. May you consider coming to this Wednesday's "Worship-prayer" session, October 5th at 7pm at Webster Recreation (read participant's feedback from the 1st session here and event details HERE). Or maybe even consider an event tomorrow with Angie Smith at Browncroft Community Church (details here)
To fall in love with God is the greatest of all romances; To seek Him, the greatest adventure; To find him, the greatest human achievement. - Augustine
post by Stephanie Maus -
I’m pretty confident you may have found yourself in this state of confusion; you open the fridge to find something to fill your hunger and yet nothing seems right. If you are as crazy as me, you open the fridge again and nothing has changed since you looked five minutes ago! And then there are times you may binge on everything you see and are only left with an upset stomach and discomfort to show.
Dissatisfaction. Disillusionment. Disappointment. Even Despair.
We have all been there. “I had hoped it would turn out this way.” “I had placed my future on that.” What do we do when the ache won’t be filled? Where do we turn when we have exhausted all other options?
This is the exact place I found myself almost 9 years ago. With many financial losses, a failed marriage, and struggling to raise my four small kids on my own, I was left to see the raw me. The me that hopelessly needed a Savior. The me that couldn’t hold it all together anymore. But what happened as some of the worst days of my life were the very thing that God used to set me free.
You see, I grew up as a “good Christian girl.” I could quote scripture, lead Bible studies, share the gospel and follow a “straight line.” I could tell you what the Bible had to say about just about anything and feel confident that I had a chapter and a verse to back it up. I led worship at church, wrote songs about God and ran women’s church events. But one thing I lacked. I didn’t know the depths of me. I didn’t know by experience how prone I am to wander. I didn’t know my heart could be full of bitterness, anger, and paralyzed by fear of a God I didn’t know how to trust. That is, until the day God saved me from myself.
One day, in the perfect storm of events in my life God literally brought me to my face in my living room. There was in me a pain no medication could cure, a loneliness no person could fill, and a depression I couldn’t shake. I despaired of my life and was rapidly bleeding and dying spiritually. The hisses from the enemy were clear and loud. “ Where is God in this?”, “You have been living a lie.” “If this is Christianity, why stay?” I was weakened in my spirit and body and told God, “I am out. Thanks for the ride, but this will be the last time I talk to you and I don’t even care!”
Silence. Moments of what seemed to be unending silence.
And then came the sweetest of memories as fond whispers in my soul….
“Who made you?” Was the question coming from above.
“God made me.” I sobbed
“Why did God make you?” Another tender and pressing question.
“God made me and all things for His own glory.” I said, slowly.
Wait. What? God made me and all things in order to make much of Him? How can this be true? How in the living world could God use this mess of a woman and this mess of a situation to show His goodness to me and others? It was almost like a promise and a dare from Him.
From that very minute I made a statement to God. “Ok, if I am really your responsibility and you are saying you can show some kind of good to me and others through this darkness, I will trust you for today. That’s it. Just today!” A measure of peace and reassurance swept over me that I had never experienced before. My spirit sought out something comforting outside of myself so I turned to familiar passages in the Bible and Psalm 118:17 jumped straight out of the page. Psalm 118:17- “I shall not die, but live and declare the works of the Lord.” I didn’t know much, but I knew that I knew this verse was for me. Somehow, someway, I would one day tell about this. Not what great things I have done, but what the power of Jesus had done in me. A new rush of belief blew in.
I hungered for more of what I was getting from Him so I asked him for a scripture that I could cling to. If my life were going to continue I would need to believe and live what the scriptures said. One scripture turned into two, which turned into a whole journal of truths I needed to cling to in order to stay afloat. Everywhere I went I started carrying scripture so when anxiety or despair reared its head I attacked it with a new thought and a new perspective. Before long, I was asking Him to help me to believe the scriptures and started using them as prayers. I told Him that I had no belief on my own and He would have to infuse any faith He wanted me to have. The Bible became His love letter and I started to get so hungry and thirsty for what He would show me if I took the time to seek Him. These special spaces with Him in the morning were something I longed for. Some days I couldn’t find anything special from His Word, but I made a commitment to Him to show up every morning willing to listen and be still. I not only needed Him, I wanted Him. He was becoming the Lover of my soul.
I would just sit in church and cry. I couldn’t sing or teach but I could get the kids ready, show up and cry. This was also His gift to me. Having no real place, bringing nothing to the table but allowing Him to speak Words of hope was again making me realize his unconditional love and how graced and valued I really am.
I also knew I needed to allow a few safe friends into my life who could speak truth as well. It is a humbling but healing thing to show others your true need and let them know you are not Ok. The Holy Spirit used the love, service, generosity, and faithful prayers from God’s family to help me to see His greatness. This started a journey of believing in the power of prayer and giving that I hold fast to until this day!
I believe we all long for authentic intimacy with our Creator but sometimes we are afraid to be honest with ourselves, others, and most importantly, Him. Sometimes we would rather hide behind the ‘what I should be’ rather than give Him ‘what I already am.’ We compare the Lover of our Souls to the best love that we have experienced here on earth. It is like, He is ‘Great, but not enough.’
Nothing could be further from the truth.
God is not just “great.” God is not an app to put on our phones. The Holy Spirit is not like my best teacher, best parent or best friend. He is other. He is above. He is matchless and He is the main, beautiful point of life.
That thing? That longing in your soul? That soul ache and fixation that nothing seems to fill? We look in the “fridge” in our lives and binge on media, careers, relationships, status, materialism, pleasures, or anything that seems to scratch the incessant itch.
That is a God created spot. He invites us in to a place that has room for needs only He can meet.
“This is the essence of sin, and the story of all our lives. We have all set our hopes onto something or someone we thought was really impressive and important. Something we thought would really make us happy . . . money, another person, a position. So we examine the thing. We lean on it a little bit. We test it. We taste it. It seems good. We respect it a little more, so we lean on it a little more. Pretty soon we trust enough to place the full weight of our soul upon it, and then . . . crash. We end up disappointed. Despairing. Why? Because it wasn’t God. And everything crumbles under the weight of worship except God.”
― Matt Papa
Do I have all the answers and live a life now free of questions, tensions, or selfishness? Most certainly not. But what happened on that day and since was a new shift in my relationship with God. We are all in process and I am a recovering Pharisee who intensely still needs Jesus. The difference is that now I experience the beauty of Him and know where my source comes. Seeing the troubled and scary parts of me made me want to quit until I fell into the arms of a God who is loving enough to not walk away, strong enough to carry my weight, and powerful enough to keep pushing me forward with His grace.
Maybe your story isn’t like mine. Maybe your struggles, past, and perspective are very different. That is okay. A few things unite us all, every one of us:
We all live in a broken world and experience heartache, loss, pain, and suffering of all varieties.
We will all face our lack of control at one point or another in life.
We all have a desperate need for Jesus (whether we recognize it or not.)
We all have a choice to follow Him or to stand on the sidelines critiquing those who do.
In the words of St Augustine to our God: “You have made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless, until they find rest in you.”
So if you are tired of “still not finding what you are looking for”, there is hope. It’s just around the corner where your knees bend and your heart bows to Jesus and His great love and exclusive purposes. Don’t settle for anything less than what you were created to be.
Ask Him for humility and admit you are not the point of why the world was created.
Be brave, and trust that He can meet every one of your thirsty needs as you keep coming back for more.
And lastly, be gut wrenchingly honest, pour out your heart to Him, ask Him for the gift of faith, and find yourself held by a love that will not let you go.
---Stephanie Maus is a single mom of four wild and wonderful kids (15, 14, 12, and 10) and a business owner of her in-home hair salon called Renew. She currently enjoys leading Bible studies out of her home in Webster NY and teaching Women’s Sunday School class at Pittsford Community Church as well as one on one mentoring. Her joys include beaches, running, laughter, heart to heart talks, reading, and music.
This morning I was SO happy to get a response from someone who tried last week’s prayer exercise detailed in last week's blog. Here is what the email said,
“Dear Gina, how powerful! To think that when I get that close to God, he sees Jesus in me. I have heard it before, but this exercise brought it home to me. Thank you so very much.”…
Those few words express a new found freedom and liberty in Christ by this child of God! Woooo hoooo!!! (i.e. Hallelujah!)
New found freedom in the Spirit through Christ is what Into the Waters Ministry is all about! Inspiring you to linger longer with God in prayer, resourcing you to draw nearer and know Christ! Come join the next session!
The next one to be held is on October 5th at 7pm. It is the 2nd “Worship-Prayer” session of the 4 being held. They are on the first Wednesday of the months of September to December. If you can’t make October, maybe you can make the first Wednesday of November or December. You just entered a busy season, some with kids starting school and for all… holidays coming, less day light and weather attacking our faces via wind, snow, and cold (boooooo). Many could use extended time with God to lift their spirits! Sign up here.
To get an idea of participant’s feedback in the September session, read the following. After the session, most took an on-line survey. Here are open comments they gave:
“I looked back over my notes as I journaled through the songs, letting the lyrics inspire my prayers. I realized all my notes read like a love letter, written from God to me! The session was such a blessing! Thank you!”
“I love "scripture songs"/scripture set to music ~ although I was not familiar with the ones played. I also appreciated your encouragement to fast - it definitely put me into a different mindset…”
“One particular song's lyrics that were played last night carried the same message the Lord has been putting on my heart the past few days. I was amazed and felt His presence. I was able to make the connection of "false expectations" to this particular circumstance in my life. It is very rare for me to take such focused, extended time in prayer and worship. I walked away feeling cleansed, renewed, and loved. Thank you.”
“…the song with the chorus - "I'm no longer a slave to fear, I am a child of God" paired with "Good, Good Father." ~ that ministered to me right when I needed that reassurance.”
“Thank you for last night, the Lord met me there…pouring out tears again in prayer listening to the “Let Go Now” song. I’m looking forward to next month. Our God is so good!”
Here is what survey participants said regarding the work of the Holy Spirit in the session,
Meditating on truths of God from His Word, under the influence of the Spirit of Christ, inviting His presence and being open to His work is the place for mind and soul renewal! God is good!
May this feedback and the comments on the testimony page (click to read them here), encourage you to attend! As noted earlier, please sign up! Signing up in advance helps me make sure the reserved room is sufficient to accommodate.
This is a traveling ministry, so coming into your church or ministry setting is a conversation I'd like to have with you! Visit this page to read more about doing a prayer session in your setting. And as always, if this ministry is a blessing to you, please consider making a small donation via the donation page! And finally, next week… a guest post! Blessings!
Exercise one- If you have a mirror handy go get it or go put yourself in front of one, and get very, very close. Get so close that you can center in on one of your pupils. Look intently until you see your tiny reflection within the blackness of your pupil. After doing so, come back and read the rest of the blog.
That first exercise of looking intently into your pupil, was a beginning part of meditating on a simple scripture prayer you can easily memorize. It’s a prayer full of deep theological meaning.
Before I tell the scripture, think about seeing your reflection in your pupil and what prayer cry represents that in the psalms? Any guesses? Hint: The prayer phrase is 8 words long and makes reference to a fruit.
Did you guess it?
The word apple in Psalm 17:8 is the Hebrew word #H380 iyshon (ee-shone); and is an offshoot of another Hebrew word (H376) meaning 1) little man of the eye 2) the pupil of the eye 3) black, obscure. Hebrew culture translates “iyshon” as “the daughter of the eye” or the little person of the eye.
We are careful to guard our eyes. God built in reflexes within the eye’s structure giving us visceral physical reactions in response to any threats coming towards our eyes. Blinking happens hundreds of times a day and we think nothing of it. Our pupils expand and contract to let in light or to shut out too bright a light. They close for extended periods sending our body into a state of concentrated thought, temporary rest or deep sleep.
“Keep me as the apple of your eye” is an ancient prayer in its truest meaning; but it's been lost in translation. In our English language it is better known as an idiom. If you asked people what it meant, most people would more than likely describe it as a term of endearment describing a type of protective human love, versus divine love. You’ve possibly heard it used to describe a parent’s love for a child. “Oh she is the apple of her father’s eye; he would do anything for her.”
True, it is a term of endearment; but originally and in truest context it is a divine expression. It is a heart crying for God’s help, and a returned response from a covenant keeping God. Moses prayed it; King David prayed it. God responded and kept his people.
Deuteronomy 32:10- In a desert land he found him, in a barren and howling waste. He shielded him and cared for him; he guarded him as the apple of his eye,…”
Proverbs 7:2- Keep my commandments, and live; and my law as the apple of thine eye.
For Psalm 17, based upon commentaries, I guess it is difficult to say when King David penned this psalm; but it would have been some time in his adulthood. So at a minimum we can conclude we have a grown man, who has been a shepherd and warrior from youth, a man who was already or would be King of Israel, crying out to God with a vulnerable request, “Keep me as the apple of your eye…”
In the psalm, its clear David is penning it while under attack. Ways of the violent and wicked were threatening and he needed God to rescue and protect him. With that in mind, do exercise 2.
Exercise 2- Visualize seeing your own reflection in your pupil. Now answer the following questions. What needed to happen in order to see your reflection within your pupil? How close did you have to get? How still did you have to be? Did you have to adjust other lighting in the space to see yourself within your pupil? How intently did you have to focus? How long did you have to stare until you saw your reflection in your pupil? How much detail were you really able to see of yourself? How tiny was your reflection in the scope of your larger physical presence? How far away and hidden did you seem within? Did you have any emotional response or thought related to seeing yourself within the obscurity and blackness of the pupil? Was it uncomfortable?
All of these answers are meant to lead you to the safest place of intimate prayer. The stillness, the peering, the concentration, drawing your face near, all of these things are physical reflections mirroring our soul's position of entering God’s presence as He intends. Eye to eye, staring deeply into Him and letting him stare back without flinching and looking away.
Many are uncomfortable with that kind of intimacy with God. Either lies or fears or shame or anger or doubt or a combination of all lie behind a reaction that prefers distance over face-to-face encounter with God.
“Seek His face!” (Repeated truth in Psalm 27:8, 1 Chronicles 16:11, Psalm 105:4, Psalm 24:6)
It’s meant to be a heart cry that is not ignored; but welcomed and done.
We are to cry “Keep me as the apple of your eye.” There is real freedom in prayer if you live in the reality of it being true. But how is it true?
How can anyone keep you as the apple of their eye? Beyond being a sentimental offering and idea of devoted love, it has its limits. How does anyone look at you and see your reflection? It’s not possible. If you were to draw that close to someone’s face, you would not see their reflection, you would see your own. And to stay there comfortably, you would have to love and trust the person whose eyes you peered into. And vice versa, anyone peering into your eyes, would see their reflection, not yours.
Sometimes this is what we forget to conclude if we get this close to God. Instead of thinking He sees Himself in our eyes, we think He focuses in on our darkness. It's the place where real fears surface so we stay distant. “He’s looking at my failures. He’s seeing my darkness. He disapproves of my choices. I failed again. I’m a jerk. What’s my problem.” On and on we can go. But if those quotes reflect your thoughts Christian believer, you don't yet understand who He sees when He looks at you. You’ve not yet entered God’s presence if all you see is yourself.
When God the Father looks at you, He doesn’t see you. The "little man of the eye" God the Father sees is Christ in you if Christ is your Savior. He sees His glorious Son integrated into your very being by His Spirit. He sees His own reflection. He doesn’t see despair and hopelessness; He sees a redeemed life by the blood of Christ. You are kept, guarded, protected, hidden, glorified, whole, set apart, known, loved, blessed as the apple of His eye... in Christ.
Within the deepest blackness of your being, through the miraculous gift of Christ, a divine light has shown.
“For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.” – Corinthians 4:6
He sees the face of Christ reflecting back to Him in the apple of your eye! Rejoice!
You ARE eternally kept! You ARE guarded! You ARE now hidden in Christ! For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God, Colossians 3:3!
There is no reason to fear His intimate stare. His Son is in you; therefore as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed your transgressions from you, Psalm 103:12. Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are NEVER covered with shame- Psalm 34:5.
One of the truths I ask people to visualize in the meditations is the Holy Spirit hovering over them to create new life. So for the last exercise, I want you to picture the Holy Spirit hovering over you. You can do this if you are Christian or not. It is His nature to hover over darkness and chaos to recreate, Genesis 1:2. The Holy Spirit executes the living Word of God. All you need to do is invite Him to recreate through Christ, give Him permission, ask Him to shine light in your darkness. Genesis 1:2 calls out the Holy Spirit, as the first person of the Trinity mentioned by name. The Spirit of God still hovers over the waters of darkness, those obscure, chaotic places deep within and says, “Let there be light”.
By his grace and truth, He will show you areas that need divine illumination and where His light needs to enter for resurrection life. So with that in mind, do the final exercise...
Exercise 3: Visualize the Holy Spirit hovering over you. Close your eyes to enter a restful stance, visualize Christ drawing near, so close He will be able to see His own reflection in the darkness of your pupils. Cry out, “Keep me as the apple of your eye”. Ask the Holy Spirit to speak over you and create with divine light. Hear Him speaking over you, “Let there be light.” Say it yourself, "let Christ shine in me." Ask Him to reveal hidden places and supernaturally cleanse with the light of Christ. Pay attention to what He shows you. Admit weaknesses and be vulnerable, for His grace is sufficient for you. His power is made perfect in your weakness.
On a end note, use the mirror analogy and the “apple of his eye” idiom to tell people the phrase's real meaning. Talk to them about the divine promise it contains in Christ. Talk to someone about God’s perfect love, the only safe place of true soul protection from all enemies, especially death and eternal judgment. Those 8 little words are a simple introduction to the grace of Christ and the beauty of a Risen Savior whose Holy Spirit saves.
Jesus is saying, "Get up!"
Jesus has some simple commands that He repeats. One of those is “Get up”. If He spoke this to your spirit, how many scripture accounts would you think of? Do you know who He said that to and what the outcome was? How would you meditate on those 2 little words to pull apart what God was trying to tell you?
I heard those two little words as I lay flat on my back in a moment of heaviness this week. This command interrupted my thoughts and I got up. And this morning as I met with a wonderful Christian woman, she recalled a time when she had all but given up on herself, her life, and said was even tempted to give up on God. She found herself on the floor in total despair until the whispers of God started coming, He ended with a command, “Get up.” She got up. Her life since is a powerful testimony of a daughter of God overcoming by His Spirit. (She should be writing a guest post soon!)
Has God told you to "Get up!?" How might you interpret that command? Would you think, “Why? What is the use? Nothing is going to change.” Would you infer the voice of a disapproving father telling you to get over yourself and get up? Would you feel despair because you had no power to muster? Would you rattle off excuses beginning with “But I don't have anyone to help me…”? Would you be quickened to talk to yourself and heap pressure upon yourself? “I need to get my act together. People are relying on me. I can do this.”
These are all normal, human responses. But they are certainly not the responses He wants or correct interpretation. Those are responses confined to human limitation. YES, we are to hear, “Get up”, but we are to know it means supernatural help is available. Those 2 little words should cue us that he is casting a supernatural lifeline to the weary, the weak, the hopeless, the troubled in heart.
And they are just 2 words to open up the conversation. He wants to lead us to a dialogue of thought and spiritual interpretation.
I searched the scriptures for those 2 little words where God says "Get up."
Here are just a few examples with brief excerpts.
Then the Lord said to Moses, “Get up early in the morning and confront Pharaoh as he goes to the river and say to him, “This is what the LORD says: Let my people go, so that they may worship me.”- Exodus 8:20
And the Lord said, “Now get up and cross the Zered Valley. “ - Deuteronomy 2:13a
During the night the Lord said to Gideon, “Get up, go down against the camp…”- Judges 7:9
The hand of the Lord was on me there, and he said to me, “Get up and go out…”- Ezekiel 3:22
"I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.”- Mark 2:11
But he took her by the hand and said, “My child, get up!”- Luke 8:54
Then I a voice told him, “Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.”- Acts 10:13
“’I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,’ the Lord replied. ‘Now get up and stand on your feet. I have appeared to you to appoint you as a servant and as a witness of what you have seen and will see of me…’”- Acts 26:15b-16
“Not by power, nor by might, but by my Spirit.” Says the Lord Almighty. – Zechariah 4:6b
Supernatural endings are outcomes to obeying God's words of "Get up." Here are summarized outcomes in line with the scripture referenced above.
By the power of God Moses got up, and God poured out His Spirit. He delivered his people from the oppressive bondage of Pharaoh with miraculous signs and wonders and Heavenly provision.
By the power of God the Israelites got up and crossed the Zered valley. He led them like a shepherd leads his sheep, guiding them and providing for them in a new land filled with milk and honey.
By the power of God Gideon got up and went down, the LORD defeating an army as thick as locusts with merely 300 men, 300 jars, 300 torches, and 300 trumpets.
By the power of God Ezekiel got up and went out, lifted up by the power of the Spirit, allowed to be a special witness of God’s glory and have a holy place within eternal prophetic legacy.
By the power of Christ, the paralyzed man got up and walked. He was used of God to silence skeptics, amaze crowds, and be a vessel through which Christ demonstrated His authority to forgive sins.
By the power of Christ, the little girl who had died got up and ate, Jesus demonstrating that life is not limited to flesh and time, through His life, we live again.
By the power of Christ, Peter got up and ate with people he thought were unclean. God renewed his thoughts and began destroying Peter's prejudices. He was transformed as He served God and obeyed. His obedience allowed him to witness God pouring His Spirit into all who believe in the Good News of Jesus Christ.
By the power of Christ, Paul got up and went. He was transformed from an enemy of Christ into a beloved apostle and father of faith who boldly preached the message of salvation to the Gentile nations. He is still preaching! We hear him through the Word of God!
All of this by the power of the Holy Spirit. Hear Christ saying to you, “Get up.”
Insert your name into the situations above. Proclaim them as truth over you because by His Spirit, God can through you. He can deliver through you. He can lead through you. He can defeat darkness through you. He can allow you to commune with Him in his glory and to glorify Him. He can demonstrate His resurrection power through you. He can destroy your wrong thoughts. He wants you to witness His life saving those you thought could never be saved. He can boldly speak through you. He will heal and save and redeem! Press in and call on His Name!
He is saying, “The impossible is possible through Me. “ He is saying, “Yes you are weak and only by my Spirit will you live and move and have your being.” He is saying, “You are clean. I am with you. Do not be afraid.” He is saying, “Humble yourself like a little child.”
He is saying, “Get up in the power of my Spirit.” Repeat that simple phrase to yourself in prayer this week! (Just try it!) Say to yourself, “By the power of the Holy Spirit, get up!”
“Aeneas,” Peter said to him, “Jesus Christ heals you. Get up”…- Acts 9:34
As I've prayed through circumstances and relationships, when I get myself still enough to listen, often times God will reveal, "Things are not as they seem." He is alerting me that my thoughts or feelings need to be re-framed within a circumstance or situation.
“Poetry is what gets lost in translation”; so said Robert Frost, meaning that it is fairly impossible for readers to draw out the fullness of the writer’s intent and intimate emotional nuances. When it comes to reading poetry, this is probably true; but isn’t this also poetry's gift?
Hidden within a poem’s rhythms and word pictures, a heart connects and finds language to express its deepest emotions and thoughts through the filter of one’s experiences. This could apply to song lyrics as well, as they are often painted with broad strokes of a brush by the song writer so the listener can find his/her story in the words too. Poetry and songs that we will be drawn towards are intimate stories we end. They help us put words to our feeling and thoughts and creatively express our life experiences. This is how poetry and song become sentimental gifts we treasure. They trigger emotion and bring to mind life altering experiences, whether good or bad.
“Because you loved me” by Celine Dion is my love song to the LORD. She did not write it to be a worship song, but every time I hear it tears well up because the lyrics “trigger” memories of God’s faithfulness. Every line within that song floods my mind with a very difficult time when, had it not been for the LORD’s love and faithfulness, I would not be who I am today, set free and healed. Instead of “I’ll be forever thankful baby”, I sing, “I’ll be forever thankful Jesus”.
Our hearts were made by God to find personal translation and expression. He knows our hearts are lost and looking for a safe place for healing and life. He specifically made our hearts and minds and lips and bodies to sing. Poetry and song are special gifts God has given to help us connect and express ourselves from deep within. Worship songs offer a lovely and powerful prayer language more easily memorized, merely needing the tune to set our soul into motion to talk to and glorify our beautiful King. This is one of the reasons why scripture says,
“Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”- Ephesians 5:18-20.
The Book of Psalms is one large resource God gave us as gift meant to help us express our hearts to him. They are prayer songs; but rarely sung. I have to remind myself they are songs because I am very used to reading them, not singing them. But in original expression and culture, they were sung. We've mostly lost this expression from the original authors. I suppose this is a perfect example of how something very precious has indeed been lost in translation.
Singing the psalms is a creative portal that leads to memorizing and embedding the words deep within. Music stays with us, even when a mind is all but gone. This is proving true in Alzheimer’s research. When the disease is in advanced stages, people who remember little else will remember songs. This should tell us all something about the gift of music as expression of our hearts and as a vehicle of prayer to God.
Next Wednesday night at 7pm we will mostly use familiar worship songs as prayer language to God. Also you will hear a couple of psalms being sung and meditate on them for meaning in your circumstances. These sessions are meant to be a format you can duplicate and incorporate in your personal prayer closets. We will practice agreeing in prayer and proclaiming promises, and stand in the gap for loved ones.
Also, next Wednesday we will offer some time to wait on the Wonderful Counselor to give us insight within the relationships and circumstances in which He has you invested. This is important because we are struggling to understand and maneuver within relationships and personal decision. Here again we could say, “Apparently something has been lost in translation”. Confusion and conflict abounds in our relationships with our spouses, our children, our families, work situations, our friendships, our service assignments, etc. Too often we are rehearsing and retelling our situations to others instead of processing with God. "He said this, she said that. I can't handle this, I will no longer put up with that...". We stay within a stronghold of words and hurt feelings. These are really spiritual battles needing God's help and revelation. We need the Spirit of God to counsel and translate.
This is a discipline that must be exercised and developed in our relationship with God. Our feelings and our thoughts often betray His will. We cannot be trusted to translate. We need God to intervene and renew our minds. He can be trusted to help us. He tells us to ask for wisdom and expect an answer, James 1:5-8.
Here are a few examples of God giving wisdom:
God would urge you to develop a discipline of time in His presence and His Word for healing and counsel. Often this is a trying discipline to develop on your own. This is why Into the Waters has been formed.
What is written in this blog is what the next 4 Wednesday sessions are about. We will process what might be lost in translation in our relationships and circumstances, sing His Word and truths to Him, and open ourselves up to receive prayer. See the calendar page HERE.
Due to the freer- flow format of these Intercession nights, I will be able to “float” around better to pray with people during the set of songs and musical interludes. (Often the meditations end with one or more attendants leaving without getting prayer because they weren’t able to wait. I want everyone who wants prayer to receive it!)
Come and get prayer. Come and tune to what God might say regarding your relational situations or life circumstances. Come and express your heart to him in song, singing His Word, for recall and spiritual transformation.
Hope to see you! Blessings!
Ways to stay connected to ministry offerings:
1- Sign up to receive blog and email announcements
2- Search on Facebook and join our private Facebook group> Peace Be Still Daily Prayer Download
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!