Praying for You

6 01 2012

It came as a quiet, hurried phone call. “Please pray. Pray right now.” The tension in my friend’s voice was obvious. Stress was fracturing peace. The jagged pieces of broken hearts were shredding joy. Tears flowed with such ferocity that it made it difficult to breathe. Drowning in a sea of desperation and despair, my friend sent up an SOS – please pray.

My heart jumped into my throat even as I fell to my knees. I prayed. I prayed hard. I struggled with a desire to do more than pray. I wanted to help, ease the pain, find a solution, or open a closed door. Anything to heal the situation in which I heard my friend’s heart breaking.

Walking through these days of prayer, God reminded me of a precious truth. Prayer is the first, best gift we can give to those we love. There is nothing more powerful than inviting God into the circumstances that challenge us. There is no better answer than asking the Lord to move in the ways He knows are best.

God stands in the middle of our homes, workplaces, friendships, and churches. He knows our struggles, sees our tears, understands our fears, and witnesses our worries. Prayer asks God to unleash His power, unfold His purpose, and unveil His presence in our days. It pleads with Him to take what we cannot control, and bring it under His sovereignty and into His light.

My Jesus Resolution today is engage the power of prayer. Prayer’s potency doesn’t flow from our words, our faith, or our timing. The power of prayer is rooted in the power of God to intervene in our lives. Prayer acknowledges our dependence and deep need for grace. It speaks a profound truth into our hearts that God is able enough, faithful enough, loving enough, and mighty enough to change what seems to be unchangeable, answer what appears unanswerable, and move the seemingly immoveable. Prayer changes things because prayer changes people. Starting with me.

Heavenly Sunlight

4 01 2012

There is nothing like the sunshine to change the mood of our days. Clouds darken more than the light outside. They sometimes bring shadows to our souls. Sunshine expands our vision. It warms our hearts, making colors sparkle. In the sunlight, images seem crisper, the day looks brighter, and the possibilities seem endless.

Sometimes, we don’t even realize how invasive the clouds have become until we see the rays of the sun. Darkness and discouragement cause us to question the faithfulness of God. A storm brews on the horizon. A conflict forces us to deeply examine our hearts. Tears fall like rain from our eyes. And then the sun. God’s faithful, gentle mercy clears the sky, embracing us in the warmth of His presence. We feel a weight lift up from our hearts as we watch light peek over the horizon.

There is a song we sing about heavenly sunlight and the difference it makes on our journey. Written by H.J. Zelley in 1899, it reminds us of the truth that the light of Jesus is what brings heavenly sunshine into our days, no matter what they hold.

He is the light, in Him is no darkness,

Ever I’m walking close to His side.

Heavenly sunlight, heavenly sunlight,

Flooding my soul with glory divine;

Hallelujah! I am rejoicing,

Singing His praises, Jesus is mine.

My Jesus Resolution today is to walk in the sunlight. I am going to enjoy the sunshine today as a gift from One who loves me beyond measure. I want to bask in its warmth and feel the intensity of His passion for each one of us. I am going to delight in its vibrant colors, knowing He delights in me.


2 01 2012

Do you make resolutions? Some people don’t, but I love stopping to take inventory and the adventure of imagining that my life can be more than it is today. Resolutions speak of hope, fresh starts, possibilities, and potential. They frame a truth that is at the heart of God’s movement in this world – what we are today is not all there is. With God, there is a richer, deeper, fuller life awaiting us than we can ever imagine or realize on our own.

There are as many different resolutions as there are people. Most of our resolutions center around our health, being more organized, accomplishing a task or goal, being better financial stewards, or strengthening our relationships. It is interesting that the most important resolution we can make provides the foundation for accomplishing everything else.

Paul said it best. “For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.” (I Corinthians 2:2) We call it The Jesus Resolution, and it is the commitment to look like Jesus every day. As we surrender to God’s grace and power, He transforms us into the image of His Son. And it is in the resolve to look like Jesus that the rest of our resolutions find their shape and substance.

The resolution to look like Jesus will shape the way we treat our bodies, walk in our relationships, spend our money, use our talents, organize our time, make our entertainment choices, and do our jobs. As we take The Jesus Resolution to heart, it overflows into every area of our lives and transforms it in accordance with God’s purpose and plan.

My Jesus Resolution today is to once again make The Jesus Resolution. This isn’t a make it once, check it off, or let it slide by January 15th kind of commitment. This is the most important resolution I can make. By His grace, He calls me to walk by His side, know His heart, and participate in His purpose. More than anything, God wants me to look like Jesus. He is willing, able, and ready to unleash His power in me to make that possible. All it takes is a surrendered soul and a resolve to follow where He leads. It will change everything because it changes me. Will you join me in making The Jesus Resolution?