by Lynn Squire
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Sandy fell before the altar. Her heart burned. Why had her world fallen apart? Her only son died—hit by a sports car on his way to school. The funeral costs and the muddled arrangements drove another wedge between her and the man she loved, causing him to leave as well. She pressed her forehead against the rough, blue carpet at the foot of the altar.
Never had she felt more abandoned. God did not care. How could He care? Look at her.
She wiped at tear off her cheek.
The mistakes she made—they were insurmountable. If only she had not rushed into her business. If only she had not longed for the comforts she saw in others' homes.
Her shoulders crumpled. The weight of her own useless efforts to better herself pressed heavy upon her.
"I had thought I owned the world," she whispered.
Strong winds battered the stain glass windows, battering her soul as well. A damp smell from the vicious storm lingered in the sanctuary.
The clattering, ripping, sounds of the gale echoed through the great hall.
She shuddered; her own life ripped by the prevailing winds of bad judgment. She felt lost, adrift in the squall of her own miserable decisions. Oh Lord, what have I done?
An onslaught of pounding, torrential rain answered her cry.
Her tears joined the downpour.
Do you know who I am, child? No voice spoke.
Sandy sunk lower. There was no audible voice, but she heard it. It rolled over her soul like the clouds that rolled across the dark sky. "Oh God, what have I done?"
Child, do you know who I am?
Sandy dug her fingernails into the carpet fibers. "Yes, Lord."
You call me Lord, but do you know who I am?
Sandy gritted her teeth and squeezed her eyes tight against the pain of admission. "Lord?"
Child, have you lived with the knowledge of who I am in your heart?
"What do you mean, Lord?" The moment she asked guilt swept over her like a wave. Memories of arguments and hateful thoughts passed before her, playing out her life on the screen of her subconscious. Strife she had stirred between her and her husband, envious feelings of others wealth, discord she had evoked through her own
desire to be valued: these did not reflect a knowledge of God. She stretched out, prostrate before her God. "Lord, I have sinned."
How often do we pray out of the burden of our hearts? Do we only pray when the storms batter our lives? God calls us into a close and intimate relationship with Him. He cares about the details of our lives, but He also cares that we know Him and all that He is.
Prayer is a form of worship. Reflecting on God's attributes is a vital part of the process. Conversing in intimate conversation with the great I Am defines this important act. While we are told to let our requests be made known to
God (Philippians 4:6), we must not leave the former undone.
Our prayer life discloses our relationship with God. Prayer must become more than bowing our heads, folding our hands, and closing our eyes. It must become an emptying of our mind of all else but the things we desire to present to God and the thoughts toward Him that bring Him honor and glory.
God hears our every thought. We need to comprehend that these thoughts can be like a prayer, communicating to Him in a manner that either draws us to Him or drives us away (Psalms 94:11).
Philippians 4:4-8 reveals there is a relationship between our prayers and our thought life.
v. 4 - Rejoicing in the Lord prepares your mind and your heart to enter into His presence.
v.5 - The Lord is at hand; what have you done in your life to demonstrate your knowledge of this? Have you lived a life not driven by passions and indulgences, but in a calmness of mind? Enter into prayer from a life of moderation seen by all men. What you do before you pray affects your time of communion with the Holy and Righteous Judge, the Great I Am.
v.6 - Make your requests to Him with thanksgiving. Being thankful demonstrates humility and an acknowledgment that all good things come from Him.
v.7 - God's peace guards our hearts and minds. Stay before Him, until you can leave your prayer closet with this awesome truth ruling your heart and mind.
v.8 - Depart from your prayer time with your mind centered on what is true, honest, just, pure, lovely, virtuous, and praiseworthy.
Prayer time is a battleground. II Corinthians 10:5 says: "Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ."
Without prayer being directed to the praise, glory, and honor of the Almighty, we will lose the battle and leave the field defeated.
This is an excerpt from my book "Best of Faith, Fiction,Fun, and Fanciful." You can purchase my book at amazon.com or go to my website: www.lynnsquire.com for more information.
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