Monday, April 21, 2014

The Stranger

      By Kelsey A.H.

While trotting down a dusty path
With aimless steps, we walk.
I'm heavy by my comrade's side
In disbelief and shock.

Oh how could I, a simple man,
Grasp all which happened there?
The place of my salvation and
The place of my despair.

I see a man approaching us,
His cloak drawn round his face.
His eyes: They penetrate my own.
A friend in such a place.

He speaks of things so wise and bold
And yet he does not know
About the trial and death of Christ?
The Roman's deadly blow?

And so we tell him of these things:
How Jesus bled and died,
The men who gave his body up
To have Him crucified.

The stranger listened silently.
Just nodding here and there.
He taught us, then, of all fortold,
Of prophets, Christ, and prayer.

At last we came upon the place 
We hoped to stay that night.
I held deep questions in my heart
As dark dispelled the light.

The stranger planned to leave from there
But by our urge to stay,
We sat to eat a humble meal.
The stranger bowed to pray.

Just as the cloaked man stooped to pray
My heart cried out in laud:
"Is he who sits before me now
And prays, the Son of God?"

This bold apocalypse denied
 Christ's death won over grace.
My swelling heart burst forth in joy,
Wet eyes look to His face.

But Christ had vanished-Then I wept.
Love vanquished my despair.
The agony and joy of grace
I almost could not bear.

Then rose we up to tell of all
His mercies would afford.
Behold Him: spotless Lamb and King,
Christ Jesus, risen Lord!

Friday, April 11, 2014

The Naive Prayer

Out of fear of what we may sound like, do we sometimes avoid praying about a certain issue? Do we sometimes avoid utterance of a certain person or subject because we somehow feel it's too trifling, too silly, or too naive?
     Yes, we prayed for "So and so's" salvation but did we pray for that life to be completely turned around for Christ? Did we pray passionately for that heart to be dramatically changed, and did we truly believe it could happen?

     I think we get so used to things the way they are we don't ever think things could be different. "Well, Aunt or Uncle Deville have always been the black sheep of the family, and so it is what it is..."

     What ever happened to ardent prayer?

     I  believe what is at stake here, is our faith. That beautifully innocent child-like faith that is so sweet in God's eyes. Have you ever heard the prayer of a child? The tenderness of their words, naive to the world they live in? Simply bringing their innocent request before the throne of grace they leave it in God's hands.

     As that little child raises up his petitions, do we sometimes laugh in our heart at the simplicity? Honestly consider, as we've heard the young utterance for this or that, did our mental barrier come up? "Well, we know that probably won't happen, but how cute of them to pray for it!"

     What happened to our prayers? What happened to our humble, and yes, naive requests? We lack in wisdom and experience and thus we must wholly rely on Christ. These are the desired prayers of the saint. Humbly, we look upward to our mighty God crying, "Abba, Father!"; presenting our innocent request with a trusting heart that our Father can do anything.

     Praise God for the naive prayer! May they ascend the heavens into God's presence that He may show us his strength and wisdom. We shouldn't ever doubt something is possible when we know that through our God, all things are possible. Praise Him.

     The naive prayer of a child; may we all give utterance to this sort of prayer and, as a child trusts Father or Mother to know and act on what's best for them, even more so may we lift up our request to our heavenly Father, trusting the outcome in Abba's* mighty hand.

I'd like to encourage you today to dig deep into your prayer list and your heart. Is there that beautifully trusting, naive prayer? Then, child of God, lift it up that it may be as the Psalmist proclaimed: "[May]...My prayer be set forth before thee as incense; and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice." 

    Don't fear the issue to be trifling or silly. Lift up your "Naive" prayer and see God move.

 *The name "Abba" is a deeply intimate term meaning litterally, "Pappa" or "Daddy".*