Saturday, June 20, 2009

Passionate Prayer: A Quiet Time Experience

I knew that today was going to be hard, and I've been dreading it all week. We didn't get to sleep until very late last night, and I must have missed the part of Mom's voicemail yesterday that said she was picking up Mia at 9:30, so when she got here, Mia and I were both still half asleep. I quickly got her dressed and out the door and got ready to face the day. As I was putting in my contacts, I started praying and asking God for the strength to get through the day. I told Him that I knew it was going to be a bad day, but before I got any farther in my prayer, the Holy Spirit started whispering a song in my head: This is the day, (this is the day) that the Lord hath made (that the Lord hath made). We will rejoice (we will rejoice) and be glad in it (and be glad in it).

I learned that song at Bible camp one summer, and every now and then it still pops into my head. But today it was a reminder from God that while I was going to have to face some hard things today, He is still on His throne and in control, and I can count on Him. It was a gentle chiding from my loving Father, and one that was badly needed. If I went into the day expecting it to be bad, it would be, and not just for me, but for Jesse and the girls too. When the moment I was dreading came, it hurt, and I still hurt, but He reminded me not to let it overwhelm me. I have many blessings to be grateful for, including my Lord who's holding me close to His heart right now.

Passionate Prayer: A Quiet Time Experience by Catherine Martin is hands down the most powerful, life-affecting book I have ever read in my life (next to the Bible, of course). It's a companion volume to Passionate Prayer, and they can be read together, but I chose to read them consecutively to extend my time in Martin's wonderful writing. She uses several Psalms of varying themes to encourage readers to turn to God in every season of their lives, whether grieving and persecuted or rejoicing, all are times to turn to God in prayer. The book is meant for use over 8 weeks, each week broken down into six lessons. The first five dig deep into that week's selected Psalm with quotes from theologians and verses from Scripture. The sixth day is a short reading for contemplation. I've been writing in a prayer journal nightly for years, but my nightly prayer went from one page to often three or more pages, and my prayer life grew exponentially. I can't begin to tell you all of the spiritual breakthroughs I had while reading this book. Not necessarily directly from the reading, but because my prayer life was so enriched I was able to hear God speak clearly and directly to me. Martin has a wonderful heart for God, and any reader will be blessed by this book.

Today's pictures are of our dog Charlie. He's a Cocka-tzu who just turned two years old last weekend. I took the first picture a few days ago because he looked so cute snuggling on Mia's stuffed leopard. The second picture is from this morning after his visit to the groomer. You'd never know it was the same dog!