“IN QUIETNESS AND CONFIDENCE SHALL BE YOUR STRENGTH.”
Come to me. Sit with me. Sit in the quiet with me. Rest. Pray. We hear these words in our hearts. We read them in scripture. And still we find it hard to sit quietly with the Lord.
We try but our minds wander......problems to solve, solutions to find, thoughts scattered and wild with worry. I know, I've been there. And I will say to you as I say to myself, STOP. Stop trying to come up with solutions. Stop trying to figure things out. Imagine all of your prayers being in one book and Our Lord is taking care of each one of your concerns. Then we begin to worry and and our trust goes out the window. In that moment we are erasing our prayers from the pages of our personal prayer book, basically telling our Lord that we can handle it, which we can't and that is why we are praying in the first place. And on and on and on.....
Why would we ever want to erase our beautiful heartfelt prayers from God's thoughts for us. He loves watching over us, “the Lord watches over you...the Lord is your shade at your right hand.” Psalm 121:5
Our Lord is ready to shower us with gifts and graces. All we have to do is pray and ask. “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.' Matthew 7:7
The answer might not come immediately but in that waiting and praying, God's grace will surprise you. And you will know this scripture to be true. “The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Deuteronomy 31:8
Take the Lord's hand, give Him back your book of prayers and never stop praying....never! “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Know you are not alone and feel the Love and the strength of Our Lord.
By: Mary Maddox
Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you… —John 14:27
There are times in our lives when our peace is based simply on our own ignorance. But when we are awakened to the realities of life, true inner peace is impossible unless it is received from Jesus. When our Lord speaks peace, He creates peace, because the words that He speaks are always “spirit, and they are life” (John 6:63). Have I ever received what Jesus speaks? “…My peace I give to you…”— a peace that comes from looking into His face and fully understanding and receiving His quiet contentment.
Are you severely troubled right now? Are you afraid and confused by the waves and the turbulence God sovereignly allows to enter your life? Have you left no stone of your faith unturned, yet still not found any well of peace, joy, or comfort? Does your life seem completely barren to you? Then look up and receive the quiet contentment of the Lord Jesus. Reflecting His peace is proof that you are right with God, because you are exhibiting the freedom to turn your mind to Him. If you are not right with God, you can never turn your mind anywhere but on yourself. Allowing anything to hide the face of Jesus Christ from you either causes you to become troubled or gives you a false sense of security.
With regard to the problem that is pressing in on you right now, are you “looking unto Jesus” (Hebrews 12:2) and receiving peace from Him? If so, He will be a gracious blessing of peace exhibited in and through you. But if you only try to worry your way out of the problem, you destroy His effectiveness in you, and you deserve whatever you get. We become troubled because we have not been taking Him into account. When a person confers with Jesus Christ, the confusion stops, because there is no confusion in Him. Lay everything out before Him, and when you are faced with difficulty, bereavement, and sorrow, listen to Him say, “Let not your heart be troubled…” (John 14:27)
A friend emailed this out to our prayer group, it is perfectly said. I had to share.
BE ENCOURAGED The LORD himself goes before you!
Fear sometimes keeps us from doing what we ought to do. I hope these verses will give you some food to chew on and thoughts to dwell upon today and to keep them in your heart. As Christians, we need to be bold in proclaiming the kingdom of God, and we need to be prepared for those times, when we will not be welcomed with open arms with God's message. This morning a lady came to me asking for prayer because she feels she's being persecuted by some, and I gave her the scripture
"The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged,"
and also I gave her the prayer from today's One Bread One Body; Prayer: Lord, may I let You fight my battles, even if I seem to be a casualty. I really love this scripture from Duet 31:8, because me being visual, I can see the Lord walking ahead and making everything to kneel or bow down because the anointed (us) are coming to spread his message. Can you see it?
"The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged,"
The Lord's will be done in our lives!
1 John 4:18a - There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear
So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.
So what are you afraid of? What is keeping you from reaching your full God given potential? What is keeping you from accomplishing the task God has given you? Let us cast down every fear and all the other weights that beset us. Let us keep our eyes on the prize and let us run the race with boldness and courage knowing that God is on our side.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, Your perfect love is casting out fear And even when I'm caught in the middle of the storms of this life I won't turn back, I know you are near.
I will fear no evil
Thank you Linda for sharing!!
The word reminds me that sometimes, God just wants us to be still and have faith In Him.
When there’s a problem, or if there is something we want to do, we usually do not rest until the problem is resolved or we have completed what we want to do. Even if we cannot solve it, we do the best we can and do something about the situation. We want things solved at once, and we do what we can do achieve it. However, in today’s reading, we see that sometimes God wants us to be still.
They say that silent waters run deep. In the faith aspect, I believe that a silent and still heart, especially in times of trouble, is a sign of deep and great faith in God.
When the Israelites were being chased by the soldiers, they felt they would die already. However, as we say, if God brings you to it, he will bring you through it. God called the people out of the slavery in Egypt, and even if they felt they were hopeless and powerless against the soldiers and chariots, God is more powerful. No power in this world can stop God’s plans for our lives. God divided the sea and allowed the people to pass. Impossible situations give God the opportunity to do great miracles.
The LORD himself will fight for you; you have only to keep still.
There are a lot of times we feel helpless. We already did everything we could, but situations do not seem to improve. It sometimes seem hopeless. However, we should take comfort in today’s word, in today’s promise. God is loving, faithful and powerful. We just need to have faith in Him, and allow him to fight for us.
May we be comforted and inspired to still do the best that we could, but ultimately leave the rest up to God, having full faith in his plans, his power and his love.
Thank you for today. Thank you for another day to live. thank you for another week. Thank you for all the blessings. Thank you for the reminders. Lord, I am sorry for the times I lose faith in you. sorry for doubting you. sorry for the times I panic and think that everything is up to me. Help me build and strengthen my faith in you. help me trust in you, especially during seemingly hopeless situations. I just lift up everything to you. I know that as I do my best to live right and live for you, you will continue to bless and protect me. amen.
By: Msgr. Charles Pope
September 18, 2013
Impatience is a human problem, but we moderns must surely suffer from it more acutely. This is because many of our modern conveniences create the illusion, and to some extent the reality, of instant results. Flip a switch and the lights come on. Instant downloads supply our computers with music, games, software, and almost instant information.
Any delay in this process almost certainly infuriates us. The journey from east to the west coast used to take many months in a wagon train. And now it is accomplished in four to five hours. Despite this marvel, even a 20 minute flight delay infuriates us.
I remember as a child that we would be enticed to buy a certain product, say cereal, by being able to cut off the box tops. And, having saved four of them, I could mail them in to the address, to get a certain die cast or plastic toy, or other promotional product offered by the cereal company. Instructions always said, “Allow 3 to 4 weeks for delivery.” This is almost unthinkable today. What child would spend months eating cereal, clipping boxtops, and then wait 3 to 4 weeks for delivery?!
Yes, patience is a human problem, but it has a certain modern intensity about it. Expectations are premeditated resentments, and we have a lot of expectations about instant results. Thus resentments are always near at hand.
In the spiritual life especially and in personal growth we must learn to slow down to a more human pace, and also the pace of God. To many of us moderns, God is infuriatingly patient and slow. He, and the Church seem to think in terms of centuries, not a 24 hour news cycle.
And He leaves many things unresolved for quite a long time. Where was he when Hitler and Stalin and Mao and any number of unjust rulers were plying their wares? Why does he not thunder from heaven more often, as we sometimes read in the Old Testament?! Why does He not send jagged lightning bolts to destroy sinners from the face of the earth? (are you so sure you would escape?) And when will the Church he founded “get with the program” and start denouncing and excommunicating those who sinfully dissent?
Of course, while there is a place for discipline, even excommunication, the Lord warned of acting too hastily in the parable of the weeds and the wheat. The impatient field hand zealously wanted to rip out all the weeds, but the owner warned that the wheat might be harmed as well.
Many of us may well wonder what harm could come from wiping out a few sinners from the face of the Earth or expelling a few more heretics. The Lord does not explain why, but simply warns that hasty and severe actions may cause harm even to the wheat.
Yes, we are an impatient lot, no only with others, but also with ourselves. Why, we wonder can we not simply overcome certain sins by sheer force of will? Why are we not instantly more chaste, more generous, more kind, more zealous, simply by deciding to be so!? Why do prayers of deliverance and exorcism not have instant effects? Why does confession not solve sin at once by its grace?
In an instant result society, discouragement is right at hand. And even when we do make progress, suddenly setbacks are at hand. “I was doing so well!” We think.
Most confessors know by experience that perseverance is good and holy, but impatience is devilish. It is especially devilish because it tries to masquerade as piety, saying “You ought to be a saint by now!” But it is really pride. Yes it is pride to think you can go from 0 to 100 and skip all the steps the rest of us poor slobs need to make. Who am I to think I can simply lay hold of holiness by a few decisions? Holiness is far higher than I imagine in my reductive insistence that I ought to be able to lay hold of it in a moment. No, this is a journey, a journey with setbacks, and progress in fits and starts. Frankly even a lifetime may not be enough and purgatory is a likely pit stop for most of us after death.
Why so slow? Because grace builds on nature. And it is our nature to change slowly, almost imperceptibly. When I was an infant I looked nothing like I do today. Frankly my mother was grateful that I did not come forth from the womb at six feet tall and 200 lbs. No, I came forth at six pounds, sickly and dying. I was baptized immediately since I was not expected to survive. But having recovered, I have progressed today to what and who I am. But at no point could my growth be perceived. It was slow, steady, and also marked by setbacks, injury, and also growth spurts.
If this is the case with our bodies, it is also with our soul, which is the form of our body. I have made remarkable spiritual progress in the last thirty years of my life. But day by day, I noticed little change. Yet, by the grace of God I am what I am.
Sudden a rapid growth seldom lasts an is usually called cancer, a deadly disease. Healthy growth is organic, steady, slow, and almost imperceptible.
Impatience is a form of pride and it is not in wisdom that we indulge it. Scripture says,
Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it. For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay. See, the rash have no integrity; but the just one who is righteous because of faith shall live. (Habakkuk 2:2-4).
Finally some words of reminder and comfort. I am not going to say who wrote these words because I have sometimes discovered that we care more who said something, than what is said. You can Google a phrase and find easily enough who wrote this. But for now let the words themselves have the necessary impact. I have little doubt these words will bless you as they have often blessed me.
Above all, trust in the slow work of God.
We are quite naturally impatient in everything
to reach the end without delay.
We should like to skip the intermediate stages.
We are impatient of being on the way to something
unknown, something new.
And yet it is the law of all progress
that it is made by passing through
some stages of instability,
and that it may take a very long time.
And so I think it is with you;
your ideas mature gradually—let them grow,
let them shape themselves, without undue haste.
Don’t try to force them,
as though you could be today what time
(that is to say, grace and circumstances
acting on your own good will)
will make of you tomorrow.
Only God could say what this new spirit
gradually forming within you will be.
Give Our Lord the benefit of believing
that his hand is leading you,
and accept the anxiety of feeling yourself
in suspense and incomplete.
This link will take you to a funny video on our impatience! On Gloria.tv
Prayerful Path/Mary Maddox