Drawing closer to god through prayer

and The Word of God

Articles by Ann Fitzgerald regarding the power of prayer,

the daily reading of the Bible (The Word of God)

along with seasonal church related observances

Think on these things . . .

Paul tells us in Philippians 4:8, Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things”. (NIV).


We have just returned from 16 days in Colorado. Much of that time we were in or near the Rocky Mountains that I love so dearly. It was easy to meditate and to write about the beauty of God’s creation while sitting in the cradle of Rocky Mountain National Park in Estes Park. This cannot take away from the magnificence of the giant sequoias or the rhythmic return of the waves along the beach. These are the things that make the psalmist write psalms. God has created all things beautiful for our pleasure. The following poem is written by a favorite poet of mine. She writes about loving this world as her life work. I think this would be a very good career choice.


Messenger 

by Mary Oliver


My work is loving the world.

Here the sunflowers, there the hummingbird—

equal seekers of sweetness.

Here the quickening yeast; there the blue plums.

Here the clam deep in the speckled sand.

Are my boots old? Is my coat torn?

Am I no longer young, and still not half-perfect? Let me

keep my mind on what matters,

which is my work,

which is mostly standing still and learning to be

astonished.

The phoebe, the delphinium.

The sheep in the pasture, and the pasture.

Which is mostly rejoicing, since all the ingredients are here,

which is gratitude, to be given a mind and a heart

and these body-clothes,

a mouth with which to give shouts of joy

to the moth and the wren, to the sleepy dug-up clam,

telling them all, over and over, how it is

that we live forever.

Prayer

Bethlehem is characterized as a sleepy little town. Our favorite carols sing about a silent night, a baby sleeping in a manger with gentle animals hovering over his sweet face. All is calm. Yet the birth of Jesus was no small thing in the spiritual domain of our world. You can bet the incarnation of God sent shock waves throughout Satan’s kingdom. What might seem quiet and even dull to our eyes might be quite the opposite in the heavens. So, it is in the churches around the world today. It is hard not to be discouraged by shrinking numbers and drowsy Christians in our churches today. But do not be fooled by such misperceptions. Steve Hawthorne of Waymakers.org reports that more Christians are praying now than at any time in history. At least 200 million believers pray every day for the advancement of world missions and 15 million groups around the world pray weekly for missions in their communities. There is a massive surge of prayer in the Christian church going on right now. God is on the move. Just as a quiet baby in the manger was the redemption of all humanity so the church today thunders with God’s movement when she humbles herself and prays. “Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart.” Colossians 4:2 new living translation.


December 24


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