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Giving Without a Whisper
Giving Without a Whisper
Moses implored the Lord his God, and said, O Lord, turn from your
fierce wrath; change your mind and do not bring disaster on your
people. Exodus 32:11,12
Paul wrote: I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and
thanksgivings be made for everyone. 1 Timothy 2:1
O God of the listening heart, hear our prayers this day. Place in our
hearts those for whom we would pray. Use us to answer the prayers of
others. Bless this day in our prayer to you. Amen. - Moravian Churchin North America Daily Texts
Clay Enoch, a sculptor in Colorado Springs, Colorado, creates powerful bronze sculptures with Biblical themes: Creation, Praise, Contrition, Still Water, Serenity, and others.
Easter is a celebration of certainties for Christians. We know that the resurrection of Jesus provides evidence that he can heal physical diseases – By his stripes we are healed. (Is. 53:5) We know that our eternal life is secured because of his rising from the dead.
But we come to God in prayer, oftentimes, with very real human hurts. We feel let down by our friends, or maybe we have been actually betrayed. This can take many forms in our lives: we can have expectations of people, and they don’t come through for us. We might count on our close friends to understand, to be gracious, to make time for us – and they don’t seem to get it, they are resentful, or they are busy.
We even come to God, sometimes, uncertain of whether he is really available to us. Is he listening? Does he care? Or has he, too, let us down?
Webster defines devotion as “love, loyalty, or enthusiasm for a person, activity or cause.” How do we fall in love with God? Devotional Spirituality is an important process by which a Christian knows God better. As we know God better, we love God better, and our character becomes more like His. Paul said. “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” (Romans 12:2).
God reveals Himself through His world, His works, and His Word. We not only gain knowledge; we gain the wisdom necessary for transforming our lives to be more aligned to His will. We know Him better by the study on His Word: “lectio devina”. We know Him better by observing and meditating on His Word, His creation, and His actions in our lives: “meditatio”. We know Him better through prayer: “oratio”. And we know Him better through thoughtful, prayerful contemplation: “contemplio”.
There is a difference between reading scripture for information versus study to gain wisdom. Who wrote it and why? What is the context? What does it say? What might God be saying to me? These questions help me dig deeper into His Word and better understand who He is and what He is teaching me. Meditation is not only an intellectual process, but a spiritual process as well. Meditation requires the Holy Spirit’s prodding, and direction. It requires discipline, a special time and place, and no distractions. Memorizing scripture helps me to meditate on God during interstices of time throughout the day.
I cannot know God better without prayer. And although I erroneously think of prayer as talking to God, I should be talking with God; a conversation----listening as well as speaking. It should be less about me, and more about God. How can I know Him better if my prayer is one way, and all about my needs and desires? Contemplating the truths discovered in God’s world, works, and Word requires persistent, intentional thought and prayer. Mediation is more like eating the food. Contemplation is digesting it—absorbing the food into my body. I learn truth about God’s character, then incorporate His truth into our being. I am being transformed!