Saturday, December 6, 2008

Romans 15:13

Romans 15:13
13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Oh wow, I totally needed this prayer to kick start my day today, LORD!

I can't believe the next verse on the list I am praying through has the word "hope" in it twice and also mentions "joy" and "peace"!! Oh LORD, You amaze me sometimes at how You just reach down and speak to me right to where I am at at the moment.

I had a very restless night last night despite spending ages praying before I went to bed, late though it was. You know I am struggling with being able to trust You LORD over the situation of trying to find a house to rent. And so then at 3:47am I told You if I was still restless and awake at 5am, I'd get up and begin the day with a big long time in prayer to You my Father about this whole matter. Then I open my eyes, all of a sudden, aware that I've woken from a dream but not knowing what has woken me. And when I look at the clock, what does it say? 5:00 on the knocker. Couldn't have given me a more direct wake up call than that, LORD, could You? And yet I was still slow to get out of bed, preferring to lie there and talk to You somewhat randomly until 5:18.

Well, here I am, dressed and ready for the day and it's only 5:35. And what do I open my Bible to see? "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope..." Thank You for those words, cutting right to my heart and showing me the path away from my own insecurities and into the security of hope in You.

LORD, I know that You are a God of hope. You are the one who has given my life purpose and meaning and filled me with a desire to do something for Your glory, towards the fulfilment of a plan far greater than any I could dream up: Your plan of salvation for You chosen ones. It is You who has given me a hope to set my heart on. This hope is founded in the faith that You have given me in the completed work of Jesus Christ upon the cross and His conquering, authoritative resurrection. He is there, seated by Your right hand in heaven and I know this. He is interceding for me, just as He took my place of punishment there on the cross. My hope is in Him and in what He has already done. My hope is that I may one day enter into a full communion with You, one day take my place among the saints as one who worships You in Spirit and in Truth throughout eternity. My hope is that You have made me a new creation, one who is not entangled by the bonds of sin; instead I am a slave to righteousness! My hope is that You will one day make all things new. Give me a deep, abiding joy in these things, LORD.

My hope is also steadfastly based upon the knowledge that, having called me as one of Your own and granted me salvation, I know that You have a plan for my life that includes me completing the good works which You have planned for me from eternity past. By Your Holy Spirit You will enable me to do what You want me to do, LORD. I know this! And Jeff becoming the Pastor of BCC is just one element of this plan that You have for my life. A Pastor's wife! Wow! How amazing and yet somehwat bizarre is that! O LORD, shape me and make me into the person You want me to be, placing my trust in You completely in all things.

If You want us to provide hospitality to the people of this congregation, I can trust You to provide the place for that to happen... If You want me to raise our children to be confident in sharing the gospel with our neighbours, then You will place us in a home where they have the opportunity to do so... If You want me to not go crazy, I can trust You not to make me live with shag pile carpeting under my dining room table any longer!!! If You want our children to be able to play away from Bible studies or "adult" conversations then You will provide space for that in our new house... but You might also want them right there in the thick of things, helping to keep us humble, mightn't You? Help me to be ready for that one, LORD! If You want us to be able to have people stay overnight, You'll provide us with a home where we will have room and toilets for them to stay... If You want us to be able to chat with our neighbours about Jesus, You'll provide a home where we aren't hidden from them behind a big fence or wall... Oh, LORD, I should have remembered that I can trust You in all of these things.

I just needed a kick in the pants to remember that the fullness of my joy and my peace should be found in You. In doing Your will and in pleasing You, not in the place where I might do that. I needed to remember that it is the "power of the Holy Spirit" which will enable me to find that joy and peace that I earnestly desire.

And, God, I also need to know the nitty gritty of how to place my trust in You, in order that I may "overflow with hope" - and yet still actually go about doing the practical, earthly stuff that is required, like checking out houses and talking to real estate agents. How do I place my trust in You and still do stuff to bring about that which I am trusting You to provide??? You know that I have struggled with this one before, LORD, particularly in the matter of Joshua's education. And it's coming up again, and I guess it will come up again in the future as You teach me to submit all of my life to Your Lordship. Show me how to do this in this situation, LORD. I can't work it out on my own, not without my insides twisting up in knots and my head whirring so much that I spend another night unable to sleep. LORD, please help me to trust You - but not forget that while You are Sovereign, You have also given me responsibility for the things I do in Your sight (which is everything, isn't it LORD?).

LORD, my Father in heaven, holy be Your name. May it be Your will which is done through the hands of Jeff and I as we look for and apply for a home to live in. (And God, You know that if what You have in mind is that we shall miraculously be provided with the means to buy a house - or even if this should happen through means which seem purely earthly, because right now looking back at where we've come, I'll see that as a miracle of Your incredible generosity to us - rather than live in a rented one, well, that's fine by me.) Just please please please either help me to be patient... or stop all this suspense!!

O LORD, I am so grateful that You are my Father and I can come to You with a prayer such as this, honest and from my heart directly to Your throne. Thank You for giving Your Son to die for me, so that I might have a close, loving relationship with You who are my Creator and Judge. LORD, I give You praise for the mystery of Your choice in calling me to be one of Your children. Thank You for making me one of Your chosen people, Your royal priesthood, Your holy nation; part of a people belonging to God. May I declare the praises of You, who have called me out of the darkness and into Your wonderful light, for the rest of my mortal days and into eternity, for Your glory. Thank You for making me one of the people of God. Thank You for Your mercy. Amen.

PS! LORD, I can't believe that the clock says 6:19. One hour You've had me here since You got me out of bed! And that's Abigail I can hear who has woken up right as I am finished praying, isn't it? Oh thank You my Father for waking me up to spend this time of prayer with You.

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