In The Shadows

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“Whatever you ask for in My name, I will do it so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.”  John 14:13

 

Anyone who has ever attended a Prayer and Praise worship service can tell you that they were inspired and filled with peace and joy. It is an amazing thing when there is no other agenda but to give praise to God. It happens when we take our eyes off ourselves and put them on the One who made the heavens and the earth and all that is contained therein.

During my years of Pastoral Ministry, I conducted several such worship services. Many times they were in the shadow of dire circumstances—when we needed to focus on God instead of the grief and sorrow all around us. For instance, in the shadow of 9-11; terrorists attacked the Pentagon and the Twin Towers in New York City and crashed a plane load of people in a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania that was on its way to destroy the Capitol in Washington, D.C. We needed to re-focus at that time toward the only One who could give us wisdom and understanding and lift us up from our grief—thus, Prayer and Praise.

There was another just as devastating a time for the small village in which I lived. A little boy was brutally murdered and left lying on a picnic table in the yard of the house where he “lived.” (I use the word “living” loosely) The whole town was in shock. There were two churches in town— the United Methodist Church, which I served, and the Catholic Church —we came together, threw aside our doctrinal differences and planned a Prayer and Praise Worship service. We had to focus not on our grief, but on the One who could give us direction.

Today is such a time; we need to get our eyes off ourselves and put them on the One who knows the future. Jeremiah wrote: “For I know the plans I have for you—this is, the Lord’s direction—plans for your welfare, not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” (29:11); and the Lord also speaks to us through the words of Isaiah:–“Lord, I am about to do something new; even now it is coming. Do you not see it?”(43:19) Only when we take our eyes off ourselves will we be able to truly see.

What if we planned a Prayer and Praise Worship service? My vision is it would include a quiet time with the Lord, singing hymns of praise to His Holy name; silent prayer, in which time, the Holy Spirit would be free to touch the hearts of God’s people; all of which would be against the backdrop of soothing music to which the angels sing. We would come away with a true sense that Someone bigger than you and I is in control and He will make all things well.

Dear Lord, this is my prayer.

For this reason also, since the day we heard this, we haven’t stopped praying for you. We are asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding, so that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, bearing fruit in every good work and growing in the knowledge of God. May you be strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for all endurance and patience, with joy giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the saint’s inheritance in the light. He has rescued us from the domain of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of the Son He loves in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. (Colossians 1:9-14 Holman Bible)

In Jesus’ name. AMEN

For further reflection read:

John 14:13   James 1:5   Proverbs 2:6   Colossians 3:10

2 Corinthians 9:8   Galatians 3:10

Published by

Betty Beach-Connell

Retired UM pastor now author. I have published 2 books--Embracing The Call (God will take you to places you never imagined) and Through the Storm ("Medications" for the soul). You may visit and read more about me on my web site RevBetty.com.

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