Sometimes I like to play the piano or guitar as I pray and read the Word because it helps me settle my mind and engage with the Lord. I don’t have any other agenda during these times other than simply waiting before the Lord and playing whatever comes to mind. This session was based on the passage in Luke 7:37-38. I hope this simple recording could be helpful for you to do the same or even as a background as you go about your day.
Staying in the Fire,
37And behold, a woman in the city who was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at the table in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster flask of fragrant oil, 38 and stood at His feet behind Him weeping; and she began to wash His feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head; and she kissed His feet and anointed them with the fragrant oil. (Luke 7:37-38)
The past few weeks, I felt strongly the need to connect with God’s heart in praying for the next generation (Millennials, Gen Z and beyond).
“Cursed is the man who trusts in man and makes flesh his strength, whose heart departs form the LORD. For he shall be like a shrub in the desert…Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, and whose hope is in the LORD. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, which spreads out its roots by the river, and will not fear when heat comes; but its leaf will be green, and will not be anxious in the year of drought, nor will cease from yielding fruit.”
I have been gripped and sobered by the reality that there are other generations coming up after me who are being raised in a spiritual wasteland. The landscape of society is becoming more and more Godless, but I am still contending for an awakening among our nation’s youth. We can’t afford to cast them aside, write them off or stop reaching after them because of the great cultural divides. Now more then ever, our hearts must turn to them. I believe the unfiltered power and witness of the gospel of Jesus Christ still eviscerates every cultural barrier because it is the only thing that can answer the deepest cry of their heart—the cry for acceptance, the cry for healing, the cry for greatness, the cry for intimacy, the cry for fascination and fulfillment. The cross of Christ is still the only tree that can give shade from the scorching heat of sin and bring us into life-giving fellowship with God.
So when this next generation comes looking for spiritual life, shelter and food, will I be like a shrub or like a tree that is planted in the LORD and ready to provide what is needed?
Lord, help us to turn our hearts toward our children. Help us see that the time and effort we spend praying, fasting and seeking You in Your Word is part of how we do this. This is how we put our trust in You. Now is the time to get planted, to strengthen our roots, so when the drought comes, we will be ready to be like these trees that Your Word speaks of…for the healing of the nations.
“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits on the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper.”
“That they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.”
“And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding from the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.”
In His Service,
The Community Prayer Room (CPR) is an initiative to host worship and prayer meetings where we exalt Jesus, meditate on His Word and contend for revival in the Texas Hill Country unto the ends of the earth. We are currently hosting weekly prayer meetings for our community and monthly 24-hour prayer watches based out of Venture Church in Burnet, TX.
14 For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, 16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, 17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— 19 to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. 20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, 21 to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
There are many important things we can talk about in this prayer, but I only want to highlight some core points not only as to what the Apostle Paul is praying for here, but why He is praying like this.
This church in Ephesus who he is writing to is the same church in Ephesus who Jesus would later speak to in Revelation 2, which the apostle John recorded. This was the church that Jesus commended for working hard, but then corrected for forgetting their first love—charging them to remember and repent that they might overcome and eat from the tree of life.
I believe Paul has insight about how to pray for both himself and other believers who are in danger of losing heart because of discouragement and disappointment. He even tells them in the verses before this prayer to not lose heart looking at his troubles (he is writing from prison). The devil tells us that our trials are proof that we do not have God’s favor, that we are a failure who is forgotten by God, disqualified from His blessing, and destined to fail, or that our relationship with God is not genuine and sincere. Paul teaches that our trials do not contradict God’s love, favor, power, and blessing in our life; rather, they can help prepare us to experience them more and give us opportunity to make known the glory of Christ.
The problem is that we don’t just wake up one day and want to give up. Discouragement becomes disappointment, which becomes depression, which becomes despair. Discouragement is like a flat tire. You can’t just ignore it. No amount of driving will put air back into that tire. The tire has to be fixed.
We don’t burn out because we work too hard, we burn out because we aren’t in love. We don’t give up in the warfare because of the warfare, we give up because we don’t see clearly in the warfare.
Paul gives us a prayer model here to address the root issue. Now we can ask for an outward strength at certain times, but it would not solve the problem. Rather, this prayer asks for an inward strength, a spiritual might for the deepest places of our being, so that we can encounter the love of Jesus Christ. So keep praying for God to strengthen the work of your hands, but make it a point to first pray for Him to strengthen your heart to know His love—and pray for other in this way.
“This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,’ Says the Lord of hosts.” (Zech. 4:6)
5 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5)
God, awaken our eyes to see our powerlessness and spiritual poverty that we might ask You for strength in our heart to encounter Your love in a deeper way. I have to know the Love of Christ. The love that will root us and ground is in such a way that no flood persecution, no fiery trials or arrows of accusation, no winds of temptation or confusion from the culture, no famines of not feeling His presence, no demon or power in hell will ever shake us out of being in love with Him. Amen.
In His Service,
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