Unspoken Request

child prayThere is a post going around social media that tells of a child praying the alphabet. When an adult asked why this child just prayed her ABC’s, she replied: “I didn’t know the words to say so I figured God would put the letters in the right order.” I will pause here while everyone’s heart melts just a tad! Around Easter, I wrote of that difficult prayer. What about the one we cannot frame into words?

This got me thinking about that “unspoken” request we often hear in church. It has become more popular or it may just be my take on what stands out to me. I used to be against such thoughts. I mean, the Word tells us to present our requests to God (1 John 5:14-15) and to be specific in doing so (Philippians 4:6-7). James 5:16 tells us to do so to one another. That we are to confess our sins so that we may be healed. I mean, “real” Christians would confess their sins to one another, right?

Where there are circles we need to have that include people we trust with any request, often there are many reasons as to why someone will mutter that easy “unspoken” request. The request may be so personal, that revealing those details may be inappropriate for the setting. Maybe trust was broken the last time details were given. And maybe, like that child, in the beginning, we do not know how to form the words. Maybe, just maybe, we are so humbled in our sinful state that His majesty and power overwhelm the thought of approaching Him in our hour of need.

Romans 8:26 gives us that comfort. “Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.” Look at that sole verse for a moment. If the Spirit (one of the Godhead) cannot find the words to express our prayer, how are we to even attempt? Maybe that child, in the beginning, was on to something! There are times to keep things in secret when the only one who knows is the Father (Matthew 6:6). It is in those times, on our knees, humble and weak, that we need the support of our brothers and sisters.

cross carryThe Word tells us to bear one another burdens (Galatians 6:2) and does not say we have to know of one another’s burdens and the specifics they carry. Maybe there is someone out there that has that burden so great, they cannot carry it. Even Jesus needed help with the cross. Lean on a brother or sister in Christ. For we do not need to know the burden but the existence of one to lift one in prayer. I will rejoice with you and I will kneel with you just the same.

scrambled lettersGod knows how to put all the letters in place. He also knows our requests before we bring them. I pray for those unspoken requests out there. For those requests that are too painful to whisper or embarrassing to think of or simply those requests that we cannot trust others to have the specifics. I know the God I serve knows your heart, your requests, and your anxieties. I lift those to His throne. I rest on the same confidence described in Hebrews 4:16 and He will provide for our needs according to His will. I pray for all those requests I cannot hear but are known like the scars on the hands of Jesus to Him. I lift those requests to His throne and ask for His will be done. Amen!

“For your Father knows what you need before you ask Him”

Matthew 6:8

Take ’em to Church

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“I don’t want to force my kids to go to church.” “I want them to make that decision on their own.” This is a common point of view today. One may blame the progressive left, and another may blame the alternative right that loves to live against restrictions and law. How about we remove all points of view except for the Word of God! This is a little more than a point of contention with me – as a father and a pastor. Continue reading Take ’em to Church

Instant Gratification vs. Time and Effort

For those that know me, know I love to cook. Now, I would not call myself a baker or one who loves to slave away in the kitchen. No, I am talking about manly cooking! Fire, coals, and meat are what I love to do. I can remember growing up and watching my Dad cook on the grill. This is where this passion was born. Now, I may give him grief about cooking on a gas grill versus the charcoal I prefer, but the passion was born because that is what he would do on the weekends. We would mow the yard, do the outside chores and he would barbecue chicken or ribs or a couple of steaks for that Saturday dinner. My wife converted me to the coal and I have not looked back since! One thing I have learned about grilling with coals versus gas is the preparation time. You cannot rush it. Continue reading Instant Gratification vs. Time and Effort

Choices

coffeeWe all have them. Every day, it seems is full of thousands of choices. Drive through has a mirage of choices to choose from. Go through the drive-through of your favorite coffee shop and see how things have changed. It used to be served black, with cream, or sugar or both. Now there are choices to skim, light on the foam, heavy on the foam…  you get it; much more than your usual black with 2 creams and a sugar! Continue reading Choices

Bacon of Job

I struggled to sit down and write this post. As my initial post indicated, I am not one that enjoys this art and I contribute the delay to a case of the “I don’t-wannas” and procrastination brought on by hereditary conditions! Now, I know my Mom will be reading this and hopefully, she will deflect this to my Dad’s side of the hereditary contributions. It is likely she will read it before he will! Continue reading Bacon of Job

The Journey Begins

What in the world is “Biblical bacon?” I have to admit, I am one that admires the taste of food. If someone were to give me an option at a free meal, I would look for that close James Beard Award winner! My wife once had a conference in Denver where there was an event that spotlighted the world of bacon (and another certain beverage). Throughout the Mile High Stadium, there were different types of this golden goodness. Plain, infused with seafood, cooked into chili, dried into jerky or in the pork belly form. I know, I am starting to sound like Forrest Gump with shrimp! We are a family that likes bacon. It can have that ability to bring a meal together and come on, who doesn’t love the smell and taste of this goodness? Continue reading The Journey Begins