Declaring War on Anxiety -A Meditation on Job-

Canon Press

Continuing with more wise words from Toby J. Sumpter’s book, A Son for Glory (the context is Job 2-3):

 

 “Paul himself disagrees with a stoic passivity to every event in our lives, and he does not contradict himself. He says, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:6-7). Paul does not say that we should not be anxious because God is in control and does whatever he pleases (though there is a sense in which that is true). Paul says that we should not be anxious because we are constantly pouring out our anxieties to God. Paul instructs the Philippians about how to fight anxiety through prayer. This is the same exhortation that Peter gives his readers. They ought to cast all their anxieties on God, because He cares for them (1 Peter 5:7). Paul is making the same point. There is to be thanksgiving, but faithful prayer does not ignore anxieties and pain. Faithful people will let their requests be made known to God; they will cast their anxieties upon Him. Also notice the goal of voicing these fears and pains and anxieties to God: the peace of God… Crying out to in anguish and fear to the God of heaven is not giving in to anxiety; it is declaring war on that anxiety. It is refusing to give up the fight.

Job is going to go on fighting for the rest of the book. Job is a warrior… Faith looks to God in hope, but faith is not blind, and faith is not lifeless. Faith doesn’t pretend it doesn’t hurt, and faith isn’t apathetic about the gifts -friends, family, health- that God has given us. Faith loves those gifts of God, and when they are threatened or taken away, faith cries out to God, “Why are you doing this?” Faith is hungry for goodness and justice and mercy. Faith is the woman who won’t stop bringing her requests to the master, because he is the master and because he is the Lord.”

Praying without ceasing and giving thanks…

Becky

Job Consecrated His Children Daily to God- A Meditation-

“His sons used to go and hold a feast in the house of each one on his day, and they would send and invite their three sisters to eat and drink with them. And when the days of the feast had run their course, Job would send and consecrate them, and he would rise early in the morning and offer burnt offerings according to the number of them all. For Job said, “It may be that my children have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts.” Thus Job did continually.” Job 1: 4-5


Jim LePage Art and Design

Toby J.Sumpter in his book, Job through New Eyes: A Son for Glory says,

” [S]in is also a directional thing, a geographical reality, a sort of teleology. Literally, the verb in the Hebrew means “to sin” means “to miss the mark”; it means you’ve veered off the path. To sin is to be going in the wrong direction, to be in the wrong place.


So what does Job do? Job is saying, God, I’m not sure what my sons have been doing, but want to reorient them to you again. I’m not sure where they’ve been , I’m not sure what they’ve said. I’m not sure what’s going on their hearts, so I’m offering them back to you again. This one for my firstborn son, this one for my secondborn son, this one for my thirdborn, and I am offering them up to you. I remind you of them. Consider my sons, and draw them into your presence…Job did this regularly.”


And so do I.


Amen.

Becky

Sola Scriptura and Prayer

Shiloh Photography



Sola Scriptura is one of the 5 pillars of the Reformed Faith, and it means that the Scriptures, God’s infallible Word, are the uttermost authority in our lives, in the Church. It means there is nothing above them, that the Scriptures are sufficient. The Scriptures were breathed by God, and therefore are the very speaking of God.

Now, we also know how important prayer is in the life of the believer. Prayer and a desire to learn the Scriptures are the natural responses from those who have been born again. Both draw us to the Throne of Grace.

Have you consider how Sola Scriptura applies in the life of prayer? Many times, we simply don’t know how to pray, we are short-sighted. We say we want God’s will to be done, but as we pray we pray hoping that ours may be done. We sometimes pray as if we were trying to persuade God to do what we think is the best for us, for our children, for our husband, or for our friend.

Bringing our theology to our mundane life is what we ought to do; we need it when trials come, we need it when life is good, we need it when we do dishes and bake a cake, and when serve our family and the needy among us. But we also need it in our prayer closet.

When we pray, let us pray the Scriptures. Let the Word of God guide us to the Throne of Grace. Let the Word of God be our most wonderful prayer companion. When we don’t know how to pray (and also when we think we know how to pray) let us turn to the Word of God, and let us make it our utmost prayer book.

M. Horton has said it well, “There can be no communication with God apart from the written and living Word. Everything in the Christian faith depends on the spoken and written Word delivered by God to us through the prophets and apostles.”

This is another reason why we (my friends from Doctrines in the Kitchen, Out of The Ordinary, and Desiring Virtue) are always trying to encourage women to love the Word, to study it, to memorize it, to make it our supreme rule of life. Sisters, if we want to be women of prayer, we need to be women of the Word; if we want to become “warriors” in the prayer closet, let us learn how to use The Sword. There are no shortcuts.

Under His sun and by His grace,

Becky

A Prayer- That We May Be an Example to All-

This is a prayer taken from William Barclay’s Prayer Book,

Help us, O God, to rid ourselves of all the things which
keep us from being good examples of the faith which we profess.

Help us
        Never to demand standards from others which we
            never attempt to live up to ourselves;
        Never to contradict with our lives that which we say
            with our lips;
        Never to be one thing to people’s face and another
            behind their back.

Help us
        Never to make a promise and then to break it
            because it is difficult to keep;
        Never to do anything dishonorable, either to avoid
            trouble or to make a gain;
        Never to be disloyal to a friend
            or untrue to a loved one.

Help us
       Never to teach or persuade anyone to do
           a wrong thing;
       Never to give an example which will make it easier
           for someone else to go wrong;
       Never to laugh at anyone else’s beliefs,
           and never to hide our own.

Help us to live that we shall never bring disgrace to ourselves,
                                                      heartbreak to others,
                                                      or grief to you.

Amen

This is my earnest prayer today…

On Prayer and Fasting and Depending on God

There are times when we must purposely fast, when we know we need to bring our bodies to submission to the spiritual things. But there are other seasons when fasting is the only natural way to come before God. Our bodies refuse to eat, and we have a greater need to pray, to fast, to come to the Word.

Being hungry for Him, and not hungry for food is a gift; a reminder that we are not of this world, that our flesh and all its desires will one day pass away. The heaviness of the soul is a reminder of how much we need His grace. All sufficient grace. Grace that satisfies our deepest needs, our longings. Grace that points our sin and grants us a repentant heart. Grace that lights up our way, that helps us think clearly.

In those days in which our bodies don’t crave for physical food, in which they refuse a morsel of sweetness, those days are days for fasting; for entering the prayer closet and open our hearts before God.

Let us welcome the days in which our only desire is to be with Him, and cry. Let us welcome the nights in which we cannot sleep and can only pray. Let us welcome the seasons in which we are reminded by the Spirit of God on how much we need Him. On how desperately we need His all sufficient grace.

Seasons of prayer and fasting are here to remind us on how much we must depend on Him, and not on the physical world that promises to satisfy our soul but always leaves us with a greater and deeper longing.

This year I have prayerfully purposed to live each day with a watchful heart; and how can I watch with all diligence if I don’t pray and fast? I welcome this season. I long for more of Him.

Under His grace, always clinging to Him…

Becky

My prayer today, I Lift Up My Hands

Praying the Psalms -Psalm 96-

 

Psalm 96

1 Oh sing to the LORD a new song;
sing to the LORD, all the earth!
2 Sing to the LORD, bless his name;
tell of his salvation from day to day.
3 Declare his glory among the nations,
his marvelous works among all the peoples!
4 For great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised;
he is to be feared above all gods.
5 For all the gods of the peoples are worthless idols,
but the LORD made the heavens.
6 Splendor and majesty are before him;
strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.

7 Ascribe to the LORD, O families of the peoples,
ascribe to the LORD glory and strength!
8 Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name;
bring an offering, and come into his courts!
9 Worship the LORD in the splendor of holiness;
tremble before him, all the earth!

10 Say among the nations, “The LORD reigns!
Yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved;
he will judge the peoples with equity.”

11 Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice;
let the sea roar, and all that fills it;

12 let the field exult, and everything in it!
Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy
13 before the LORD, for he comes,
for he comes to judge the earth.
He will judge the world in righteousness,
and the peoples in his faithfulness.

Spurgeon names this Psalm, A Grand Missionary Hymn. A Psalm with no division “for the song is one and indivisible, a garment of praise without seam, woven from the top throughout.” (1)

*******************************

Oh Father, our God, that your people around the globe may sing Psalms to you today. Fill our mouths to sing to you a new song! God, we thank you because we do not worship your creation, but instead, we join our voices with that of the earth, the seas, the heavens, the fields.  We exult your name today, O God!

Lord I pray that our song may be transformed into actions: That we may effectually bless your name by telling of your salvation from day to day. That we may declare your glory among the nations. That we may spread the word of your marvelous works among our neighbors.

Transform our song, O Lord, into actions today!

Lord, “Blessed are the eyes which shall see the kingdom, and the ears which shall hear its songs.  Hasten your advent, good Lord!” (2)

God, our Lord, we bless your name, your fame, your Word revealed to us. We delight in singing your praises, we take great delight in proclaiming all you have done in us. How you have changed our hardened hearts, how the gospel has transformed our lives. How we love you, O Lord! How we love to sing your praises!

Father, that each day this week, we may seek opportunities to transform our singing into actions. That by our deeds, our written, and our spoken words, we may always announce the glorious message of free grace among all the people, to those close to us and even to those afar.

In your presence we sing Psalms, because you alone are greatly to be praised. It is Your name that we love and fear because you are clothed in splendor and majesty; it is only in your presence, Lord, that we find strength and beauty together, kissing each other. And as we stand in awe before you, we are encouraged by your Spirit to sing your praises, to raise our voices and bless your name.

Mighty God, Merciful Father, you have saved your people to bring glory to your name, so that may  worship you and long for you. And today, as we sing your praises from every corner of the world, we also pray with one voice: Don’t haste your coming, O Lord! Come, Lord Jesus! We won’t be fully satisfied until we see your face, until “truth will dispel all evil in hypocrisy.”(3) Until our voices will mingle with that of the angels singing in Heaven.

Amen

Becky

[1], [2] Spurgeon, The Treasury of David
[3] Calvin, Commentary on the Psalms

Praying the Psalms.