Do you ever feel like a bucket with holes? –Like you just learn an important life lesson, only to forget it the next week? So did the writer of this prayer:
“My mind is a bucket without a bottom,
with no spiritual understanding…
always at the gospel-well but never holding water…
My heart is without affection, and full of leaks.
My memory has no retention,
so I forget easily the lessons learned,
and thy truths seep away.
Give me a broken heart that yet carries home the water of grace.”
(From The Valley of Vision)
I pray that my leaky bucket will hold enough gospel grace to pass on to my children–and that when they’re discouraged about their leaks, they’ll know where to go! I don’t feel adequate for the task, but “Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift [of grace]!” (2 Co. 9:15)
I read this today, and was inspired…
“The most delightful fact of all regarding time is simply this: the creator of time is also the giver of time. When we have exhausted our supply, used up our twenty-four hours, and still need time, an amazing thing can happen to those who ask for it. God will give us time. I don’t know how it happens, but many people besides myself have experienced it. God can do this for one reason—time belongs to Him.” (from How Do You Find the Time, by Pat King.)
I love this book! The author goes on to describe many stories of people who should not have had enough time to do all they needed to do, but because they chose to pray and trust God for everything on their list, it got done! I’ll have to post later about my little “experiment” this afternoon regarding this.
I love my new watch! It has three alarm-time options, a timer which can stop or repeat at the end, and an interval timer. So…how am I using it? I am using it to “pray without ceasing.” I have it set to beep every five minutes, and every time it beeps, I pray. I pray for whatever I happen to be doing–or whoever I’m with at the moment. I have two goals: one is to pray more often, and about everything; the other is to train myself to pray ”without ceasing” even without the reminder! Even after just a few days, I think it’s working! I’m starting to pray about things that I didn’t used to pray about, and more often.
For example, I was helping Barrett learn his new piano lesson. My watch beeped probably three times while I was sitting with him, so I prayed that he would learn his lesson well, that he would desire to glorify God through his piano playing, and that he and I would have a strong, loving relationship–all very short and simple, but I felt like I was using my time very wisely!
Only one drawback; I’m sure people wonder why my watch keeps beeping.
This is from The Valley of Vision…
Let the mighty tide of his everlasting love cover the rocks of my sin and care;
Then let my spirit float above those things which had else wrecked my life.
Make me fruitful by living to that love,
my character becoming more beautiful every day.
If traces of Christ’s love-artistry be upon me,
may he work on with his divine brush
until the complete image be obtained
and I be made a perfect copy of him,
I love the word “fruitful!” It inspires me to work hard at soaking up all the nutrients from the “vine” so that I will have abundant fruit! (John 15:5)
A few more helpful quotes from A Praying Life, by Paul Miller…
“[Jesus] is inviting us into his life of helpless dependence on his heavenly Father. To become more like Jesus is to feel increasingly unable to do life…”
Jesus might say this to us: “…your own strength will no more help you to stand upright than propping yourself on a broken reed. You must not despair of me. You may hope and trust me absolutely.”
“A praying life isn’t simply a morning prayer time; it is about slipping into prayer at odd hours of the day, not because we are disciplined but because we are in touch with our own poverty of spirit…”
There sure are days when I feel like I am “unable to do life”, and they are evidently a blessing, showing me my true state–totally dependent on a Savior and Helper!
I read the following yesterday and was SO ENCOURAGED! In his book, The Praying Life, Paul Miller writes,
“It took me seventeen years to realize I couldn’t parent on my own…If I didn’t deliberately and reflectively pray for members of my family by name every morning, they’d kill one another. I was incapable of getting inside their hearts…God answered my prayer[s]…it didn’t take long to realize that I did my best parenting by prayer. I began to speak less to the kids and more to God. It was actually quite relaxing.”
This has encouraged me to pray more, even while I’m in the middle of talking to a child or two!
“If you are not praying, then you are quietly confident that time, money and talent are all you need in life. You’ll always be a little too tired, a little too busy. But if, like Jesus, you realize you can’t do life on your own, then no matter how busy, no matter how tired you are, you will find the time to pray.”
“Learning to pray doesn’t offer us a less busy life; it offers us a less busy heart.” (from A Praying Life, by Paul Miller)
I read this yesterday; I like the imagery…
- O Holy Spirit…Give me thyself without measure, as an unimpaired fountain, as inexhaustible riches…
- Come as helper, with strength to bless and keep, directing my every step.
- Come as beautifier, bringing order out of confusion, loveliness out of chaos.
- Magnify to me thy glory by being magnified in me, and make me redolent of thy fragrance.
(From The Valley of Vision)
Okay, I’ve been busy, so here are Thursday’s and Friday’s character-based, Christ-centered and Bible-driven prayer requests for our children:
Thursday ~ Grow in these character traits:
- Humility – willingness to submit
- Purity – desire to be clean
- Purpose – wisdom to set goals
- Commitment – dedication to “the cause”
- Diligence – willingness to work hard
Friday ~ Grow in these character traits:
- Consistency – quality of faithfulness
- Assurance – depth of faith
- Availability – readiness to go
- Loyalty – zeal for fidelity
- Sensitivity – openness of heart
- Compassion – love in action
- Holiness – Christlike behavior
Before leaving for Yellowstone over a week ago, I started posting some of my prayer requests for my children, specifically, my weekly requests for them. So here’s Wednesday…
- Be protected from the evil one by the covering blood of Jesus
- Learn who the enemy is and resist him victoriously
- Learn to hate sin and love holiness, righteousness and the fear of the Lord
- Have health and safety each day
Also, I got a comment last week from a reader who uses some different prayers; here’s one that I thought fit well with today’s:
- Protection from satan, from the “world”, from their own misconceptions stemming from their sinful nature. (From Lord Change Me, by Evelyn Christenson)