This week the reference to a song title is a little more obvious…and for full disclosure, I spent a little time coming up with the reference. The post I had planned this week begged for another song tie-in. But, at least at this point, God slid that one to next week…so I didn’t want to break the chain. Okay, time to get a little more serious.
Tuesday night found me catching up on some reading. One of the articles I read lead me to download an app called Lectio 365 (available on the Play store, and should be in the Apple store too). It’s a prayer app, leads you through a daily prayer using the P.R.A.Y. framework. The app is put out by a group called 24-7, I just learned about them this week…it’s on their website I found out about the app.
I’ve used it now for several days, and I find it a practical tool to help me in a different avenue of prayer. The audio version (you can read or listen) runs 7-10 minutes daily. It’s been a nice change of pace on the drive into work…repeating it several times. Now, doing these while driving does making the “P” – pausing – a little tricky, I make sure I find time in my day to go through it once when I’m not doing anything else.
Admittedly, it’s a small sample size (three days), but at this point, I plan on continuing to use it…not as a replacement for any prayer time…but as an enhancement and something that will lead me to more frequent “formal” prayer time.
Anyway, …that was all to set up what I wanted to share…the devotional/prayer time from the 29th is the foundation to the rest of this post.
“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left.
Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’
Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’
And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ [Matthew 25:31-40 ESV]
The last five words were the focus of most of the devotional. They shared a story about Mother Teresa – when anyone asked her why she did what she did; she’d hold out her hand and ‘wiggle’ each finger one at a time as she quoted “you did it for me.” The next prayer carried the instructions to make requests to have eyes to see the hungry, thirsty, those in pain, the outcasts, and anyone who needed the love of God. Following each request they instructed us to hold out our hand and quote “you did it for me.”
The second or third time I listened and prayed…I had a change of perspective. Praying aloud that God use me to help the thirsty and hungry and then following it with “you did it for me.” I found myself saying thank you…because He did it for me.
Before I was even born, He made a way for me to be reconciled to Him…”You did it for me.”
I’m imperfect in too many ways to enumerate here, but He has forgiven me, He loves me, He lets me know of His love…”You did it for me.”
When I doubt, when I fear – He speaks peace and comfort into my life…”You did it for me.”
His promises are true, and I can stand on them, anchor myself to them….” You did it for me.”
When I am weak, He gives me strength…”You did it for me.”
When I was needy, He gave me all things I need for a godly life…”You did it for me.”
He provided me access to His throne room so I can talk to Him…”You did it for me.”
With the changing perspective, it altered the words for the next part. Because of His love, because of His grace, I can and will pray.
I am yours, surrendered – lead me to others who are needy…”I am yours use me.”
Bring to mind people I know who need your love and grace…”I am yours use me.”
Show me where you want me to serve…”I am yours use me.”
There is something concrete and satisfying in marking each word with a wiggled finger…maybe it’s just me, but there is a connection between the words and actions that deepen the prayer. That got me to thinking about my hands…raised in worship, gripping a prayer card, turning pages in my Bible, reaching out to someone, and clutched in prayer.
To paraphrase one point made in the days devotional/prayer. I pray that the hands I use to pray are hands I use in serving Him.
I want praying hands, serving hands, worshipping hands…if I can accomplish this, through His power…then I’ll never have too much time on my hands.