The seasons and their changes are a consistent echo in my soul as I wait and as I watch the beauty being unleashed all around me. I can literally feel time etching its mark upon the days as I wait in hushed silence, breathing in and out an exhale of prayer and praise. And I remember the words of a friend recently, about how close she feels to peace in the midst of nature, a confession I fully agree with. Then I read some words from the prophet Jeremiah this morning as I was asking the Lord to meet me, to humble me to know Him more, to fill me so that I could spill out grace into my day.
We are meant to be humbled in His midst which surrounds us as we step out into His Creation set fully apart from the world…untainted and holy…so that we can recognize His fingerprint there.
Words and prayers and praise all flow together easily when I find myself waiting in the place of reception before God. My days are cluttered with busy, consistently, yet the combustive activity has not been fueling a fire in my heart quite like the intentional pause that just a moment with the Holy One can ignite within me and I find that a prayer flows out in a cadence of hope.
Every morning, let my prayers breath grace and my wonder and awe inspire peace for each moment…
Inspired words…Heartfelt prayer… Peaceful Journey
Prose of the inspired writers draw me up and fill me like a reservoir whose spring has an unending source. I am inspired to look deeper after this passion that consumed them. Scripture, the very definition of Inspired Word, astounds me with the efficacy that it holds for our every need… timely and true and trustworthy.
I am encouraged by the ancient seekers who sought Wisdom at every turn, who gave up wealth to be named in the Book of Life, some gave up all to be followers of just One. I am finding myself wading close to the words of these in the shining light of my summer days, letting my soul wade in beauty and be buffered by the power of His compassionate tending.
And maybe that is what summer is supposed to be for us. The heat of the days and the invitation to slow down replaces the anticipated busy of previous months. This state of resting can be easily resisted because we are prone to plan beyond our ability so we can get to the next thing on our list. But I am finding that this is not the prescription we are encouraged to apply to our situations of less.
Because we are called to be grace-breathers in our speaking instead of problem solvers and fix-it prayer warriors in all our doing let’s focus on peace in the journey.
In the book, The Peacemaker, by Ken Sande, the first line of the book opens with these words, “Peacemakers are people who breathe grace.” I opened this book one day, not long ago… I read those words, I underlined them and set the book down. Sometimes words do that to me. Profundity wraps itself around my heart and I can do nothing less than sit in the midst of the reasoning and let it pervade my thoughts till it makes sense.
How much of my words, my prayers, my thoughts are focused on peace through breathed out grace?
And lately I have been thinking on the power of prayer…or the lack there-of. I mean prayer is as much a part of my daily agenda, my calculated time of habit, as it has been. It made me think about the way we measure our petitions before the throne.
We all have deep and heavy that we bring forth as we bend. We often think of the prayer bench when we are weak and we can’t contend. But what about the weight of our breath prayers, are we speaking grace at these moments?
Time pondering these words, processing reason provokes us to breathe out our needs. Some of them weighty… some really of no concern…and some keep presenting themselves before us as a reminder of what we are waiting on, while we forget who we are waiting with. I am drawn to the words of a theologian of days gone by when a time of systematic prayer and praise was not just a ritual, but a literal part of one’s existence.
“O God Most High, Most Glorious, the thought of thine infinite serenity cheers me, For I am toiling and moiling, troubled and distressed, but thou art forever at perfect peace. Thy designs cause thee no fear or care of unfulfilment, they stand fast as the eternal hills. Thy power knows no bound, thy goodness no stint. Thou bringest order out of confusion, and my defeats are thy victories; The Lord God omnipotent reigneth, I come to thee as a sinner with cares and sorrows, to leave every concern entirely to thee, every sin calling for Christ’s precious blood; Revive deep spirituality in my heart;” – excerpt from The Valley of Vision
Breathing out praises of adoration soon becomes our prayers of reconciliation.
We are invited to approach this throne of grace, continually… with breath prayers , inspiration of air and thought mingling; and I realized that breathing grace results in peace by speaking His Word fully into my right now.
The time in each season, though it looks different, is always ripe for the seed of truth to be sown. Because we all need a harvest of wisdom in every valley we walk through, and the only way we can do that is by planting what we want to harvest.
Grace, his potent message reminds us that we are called to continual prayer. In this space of face-down waiting we will always find the powerful message of peace encapsulated in words that lead us into redemption. This miracle, that we, sinful as we are, can come to God and find favor, unmerited and full of blessing, is amazing… but it is through prayer that we are continually changed and brought to an awareness of our deep need for the knowledge of grace.
“I pray because I can’t help myself. I pray because I’m helpless. I pray because the need grows out of me all the time, waking and sleeping. It doesn’t change God, it changes me.” -C S Lewis.
Prayer is the breath of grace in reconciliation. It is the way we spill peace into the chaos of our world. It is the balm for our souls when they are thread-bare and weary. It is the spark that ignites inspiration and brings down walls of stone in hearts that seem unbreakable.
Prayer is the timeline of today, tomorrow, and yesterday, combined, because there is no end to the effectiveness of our prayers.
His creation astounds me. I am amazed by the beauty that unfolds right before my eyes. If I blink, I may just miss something. And this fast-paced world doesn’t give me time to sit and look and take in the offering of praise that the earth exhibits with every opened blossom or magnificent new discovery. And I think of my friend’s words, ” I am at peace when I am in nature…” and I start to understand a little more.
Jesus reminded the Pharisees that creation will exult God if we don’t. ( Luke 19:40) I think we need to take time to inhabit those praises as often as we can so that we can learn the art of inspiration and awe, because every morning, with every season, the world before us rehearses the wonder of God. Even in the storms and the mysterious chaos that destruction releases upon it, the earth still proclaims His glory every single day.
“We give praise and thanks to You, O God, we praise and give thanks; Your wondrous works declare that Your Name is near and they who invoke Your Name rehearse Your wonders….when the earth totters, and all the inhabitants of it, it is I Who will poise and keep steady its pillars. Selah” – Psalm 75:1,3
It takes faith to rehearse his wonders…
Watching my toddling nephew yesterday and the faith he exhibited as he held tight to my hand for brief moments, reaching out because he knew I was there… his joy spilled and immediately swept over my barren soul. The laughter of a child, the infancy of hope and wonder, is the language of grace and the seed-bed of prayer. His faith in me was stronger than mine sometimes is in the One who can balance the earth in the midst of the spinning universe.
We toddle, spin and falter through our days like he does, yet God is reminding us to pause , to look and to sift out the compassion of His heart for us. He is calling us to exhale the holy in prose of inspired sighs, laughter, and exclamations of joy like the little ones who only know His light as their guide and the eternal hills that have witnessed the majesty of the dawn’s breaking on the horizon every single day.
Sometimes I come to the throne like Jeremiah did, complaining of treason and pleading with reason before the judge of the world. I deserve a rebuke, but like Jeremiah, the Lord always leads us by compassion and reminds us that even though we don’t deserve a heritage of grace, he will teach us His ways, He will name us with His own, and will continually build us up as he faithfully plucks us out of the busy of our days. (Jeremiah 12)
I am ready to breathe grace into my day, speaking peace and exclaiming with creation the joy that bubbles as I witness His goodness. Will you join me in looking for those moments of grace?
I am making this prayer my confession this week as I continue to wait upon Him in stillness. It is also my prayer for each one of you.
“For I pray, to the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, that He may grant us a spirit of wisdom and revelation, of insight into the mysteries and secrets of the deep and intimate knowledge of Him. By having the eyes of your heart flooded with light, so that you can know and understand the hope to which He has called you, and how rich is His glorious inheritance in the saints, and so that you can know and understand what is the immeasurable and unlimited and surpassing greatness of His power in and for us who believe…” -Ephesians 1:17-19
IT’S YOUR TURN TO BE A GRACE COUNTER! SHARE YOUR GRACE MOMENT IN THE COMMENTS BELOW AND THEN COUNT GRACE WITH A FRIEND WITH COMMENT ON A BLOG OR TWO.
If you are a blogger, link up here with a post about finding grace moments in your life or one of your favorite inspiring and encouraging posts from this week. Share your thoughts in the comment section telling me about the #Grace Moments you experienced this week. *(only 1 post per link please)*
Take time to visit your neighbor next to you, and if you want visit a few more friends on the journey. We all need a little encouragement and affirmation as we travel together.
If you don’t have a blog, you can connect with me via my Journeys in Grace FB page by sharing a photo or a comment. Or you can join the party by sharing your images on Instagram with #Gracemoments hashtag.
Each week I will try visit as many of your amazing posts as I can.This is a safe place to sit and dwell in grace together, friends. I can’t wait to pour a cup of friendship with you and take in the grace moments you have to share. Don’t forget to leave a comment below, I love to hear from you.