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

Keep it on the tracks!

Every VBS we have done at our church involves the part of searching for God Sightings. I like this focus so much it is something we do on a weekly basis in Children Church. I believe it is a great habit to look and see where God is at work around us. With me, I have found that He will often point something out so He can have a chat. For example, take these simple train tracks. Continue reading Keep it on the tracks!

Patiently Anxious

I sit here and look at the two words in the title. I, among others, love a good dose of irony. When I asked for some feedback, my wife asked me “don’t you mean impatiently anxious?” That would make more sense though! Not with me! I am patient on the outside but on a scale of 1 to 10, I am hovering around a 37 on the anxiety scale! I have not been tested and I doubt there is a medical problem. So why all the anxiety (I think we can all agree that patience is a good thing so we should look at the other half of those two words!)?

businessman office mobile phone financeI am a pastor in search of a church. One of the reasons I love the Church of the Nazarene is the process one must go through in order to become a pastor. Not anyone is allowed to shepherd a flock, and that is a great thing for His Church. Just as the eleven disciples approached the replacement of Judas with discernment and prayer (Acts 1:16-26), we as Nazarenes do the same.

But hurry up already!!!

Continue reading Patiently Anxious

Do it anyway.

I am a huge fan of marketing.

customers users color wheel

I earned a degree in Business Management and loved the courses I took in marketing! I remember one of the main commercials that got my attention. I was not a fan of this sport at that time, but no one could deny the effect of what this short commercial series achieved. Here are some of the effects of what this marketing series did achieve. Increased market share of athletic shoes from 18% to 43% and sales from $877M to $9.2B (yes that is B for billion)! People would line up for $150-$200 shoes like they do for the new iPhone today! People wanted to be this person, fly like this person and play like this person! Have you figured out the campaign? Continue reading Do it anyway.

Easter Thoughts – The Hard Prayer

This is a time of year that is ripe for reflections on those that have followed God’s call to be shepherds.  We (at least I know I do as well as those that mentor me) often look to the example of Jesus in all we do. How we disciple, how we discipline, how we preach, how we teach and how we even pray all come from how the Son did all of those things. What I spend hours reflecting on is the latter of those things during this time of year.

Continue reading Easter Thoughts – The Hard Prayer

The Bitterness of Humble Pie

I deserve better. I am owed this. I have earned it! God wants me to have the best in life!

These are all commonplace phrases that run rampant in today’s society and the last one can be heard in many a TV preacher prosperity gospel message. Yet, this lesson is not a new one nor will it be one that is perfected anytime soon. Continue reading The Bitterness of Humble Pie

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