Awe and Trembling in Prayer

April 22nd, 2016

awe-and-trembling-in-prayer

Prophets in Scripture trembled in the presence of God. Do we fear God like we should? Do you ever experience awe and trembling in prayer? In Scripture, when the greatest men and women are in the presence of God, they are physically trembling. Here are a few Scriptures to show how fear and trembling display proper honor to the Lord:

  • Jeremiah 5:22a NASB “Do you not fear Me?” declares the Lord. “Do you not tremble in My presence?”
  • Psalm 114:7 NASB “Tremble, O earth, before the Lord, before the God of Jacob.”
  • Daniel 10:7-9 ESV  “And I, Daniel, alone saw the vision, for the men who were with me did not see the vision, but a great trembling fell upon them, and they fled to hide themselves. So I was left alone and saw this great vision, and no strength was left in me. My radiant appearance was fearfully changed, and I retained no strength. Then I heard the sound of his words, and as I heard the sound of his words, I fell on my face in deep sleep with my face to the ground.”
  • Isaiah 6:5 NASB “Then I said, ‘Woe is me, for I am ruined! Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.’”
  • Ezekiel 38:20 ESV “The fish of the sea and the birds of the heavens and the beasts of the field and all creeping things that creep on the ground, and all the people who are on the face of the earth, shall quake at my presence. And the mountains shall be thrown down, and the cliffs shall fall, and every wall shall tumble to the ground.”
  • Psalm 2:11 ESV “Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling.”
  • Philippians 2:12 ESV “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.”

The wisdom books of Proverbs and Ecclesiastes boil down to “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” So do you have wisdom? Do you fear God?

As you can see in the above Scriptures, fear of God often involves trembling. People fall on their faces when approaching God. If we truly understood the magnitude of the enormous power of God, we would find ourselves shaking in His presence, even though He is our Abba Father.

Some people might object by saying perfect love casts out fear (I John 4:18). In some ways, because we are on God’s side, we need not fear death or condemnation. However, we should be afraid to sin because it grieves a holy God. Are we scared to sin? Do we understand the full ramifications of the sins that we commit against a holy God, or do we sin flippantly? God promises to discipline His people when they sin (Hebrews 12:11).

We ought to tremble because we realize that we sin and that we are unclean before a holy God. In Isaiah 6, even the sinless angels block their eyes before a holy God. Justice would demand that we who are sinful be struck dead, and yet God allows us to enter into a personal relationship with Him. How exquisite and beautiful is His love for us, that He condescends to interact with His creatures!

Awe and Trembling in Prayer (Prayer Video # 13)

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Shield Cake

April 11th, 2016

shield-cake

Instead of cooking a medieval feast as a culminating activity for a medieval unit study, why not bake this simple shield cake? You can have fun creating a coat of arms with candy on the top of the cake.

Begin by baking a rectangular cake, preferably chocolate. Cut one end of the cake into a triangular point. Then tape some foil to a piece of cardboard that is larger than the cake. Upend the cake onto the prepared foil.

Grab two tubs of white frosting, and tint one of them to be the background color for the shield. You can choose any color you want. Frost the entire cake, including the sides.

decorating-shield-cake

Now comes the fun part. Divide the second tub of frosting into different bowls, tinting them whatever colors you want to create your coat of arms, dragon, cross, or any other shape. Place the tinted frosting in a plastic Ziplock bag and snip off the corner. Draw whatever you want with the tinted frosting.

We used white frosting to frame the outline of the shield. We also outlined a Peppermint Patty and drew a cross in the center of it. You can now use whatever candy you want to embellish your shield cake. We used colorful M&M’s to go around the entire cake.

Now enjoy eating your medieval shield cake!

Groanings Too Deep for Words

April 8th, 2016

groanings-too-deep-for-words

What does it mean when the Holy Spirit intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words?

In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.  (Romans 8:26-27 NASB)

Sometimes all we can do is come to the Lord in silence.

The Spirit Himself prays through us, translating our groanings and aligning our prayer to the will of God so that the request can be answered. Many times the answer is not immediate, and the best we can experience is the comfort of the Spirit (II Corinthians 1:4).

As you pour out your heart to the Lord, express whatever is in your soul. In the Psalms, David expressed sorrow, outrage, grief, and bewilderment that God wasn’t acting. But then he waited on God and put his hope in God. God is able to handle your raw unprocessed emotions. It is not a sin to pour out your heart to God. Job did so and was not rebuked by God. Go ahead and be honest because God already knows the reality of what you are going through.

If the Holy Spirit aligns our prayer to God’s will, what does that mean? The will of God is our sanctification (I Thessalonians 4:3-4). As we yield more to the Spirit, He produces more endurance and love in our lives, and we are more conformed to the image of Christ. The purpose of every hardship is to draw us closer to Christ, regardless of the outcome of the difficulty.

groanings-too-deep

How are we made holy? Through the furnace of affliction.

Character is forged through suffering, and that character will matter for eternity. We are not instantly identical in heaven. Only what happens on this earth will differentiate our eternity. Some will rule over others because they have acquired more wisdom in this life because they went through more suffering and were purified more.

Through suffering you can experience God in a way that is not possible without the suffering. You have a depth to your character that is not there when you do not suffer.

Don’t purposely seek suffering. It will find you. If you love others at all, you will suffer. Those who never suffer don’t love others. If you open your eyes to the people around you, you will see suffering everywhere. Go ahead and share their suffering, and it will bring them comfort.

Groanings Too Deep for Words (Video # 12)

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Make Your Own Prayer Box

April 1st, 2016

prayer-box

A good friend gave me a prayer box as a gift. She and her daughter decorated an Altoid tin and placed a pad of paper and tiny pencil inside for prayer requests. Doesn’t the prayer box look lovely?

How to Make Your Own Prayer Box

Step 1: First you will need to buy a tin with candy in it. Eat the candy or give it away.

Step 2: Glue some cloth or scrapbook paper to the top of the tin. Tacky glue and hot glue work the best. Keep in mind the favorite colors of the person you will give the prayer box to, or match it to the home decor so that she will be happy to leave it out.

Step 3: Use a black marker to write “Prayer Box” on top, if you used scrapbook paper. If you used cloth, use cloth markers or puff paint.

Step 4: Glue cloth or scrapbook paper to the inside top of the tin. Type “Prayer Requests,” a Scripture verse about prayer, or a short poem on a sheet of paper, cut it out, and glue it on top of the inside lid.

Step 5: Place a pad of paper and a small pencil in the box.

You are now finished making your own prayer box. Either use it yourself or make prayer boxes for your friends. You can keep track of people’s prayer requests by writing one request on each piece of paper. You can also write your worries on the pieces of paper, and give those requests to God.

To follow my prayer posts, like my Prayer page on Facebook, YouTube, and Google+.

Good Friday Poem

March 25th, 2016

Good-Friday-poem

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