Thankfully Seeking

1 Chronicles 16: 11

Seek the Lord and His strength; seek His face continually.

This verse is placed in a “Psalm of Thanksgiving” found in First Chronicles. I find it interesting that in the midst of a Song of Thanksgiving David would include these words. This was his source of strength. He recognized that his source of Thanksgiving came from his seeking of the Lord. His great praise comes from his having sought the Lord on many occasions. He knew that he was enjoying this wonderful time of praise because he sought his Lord prior to the abundance of blessing.

We learn from this passage that the blessing is in the seeking. In other words, when we seek the Lord, we find the multitude of blessings that are just naturally a part of Him. David is teaching us that we should praise and thank the Lord but that we should also remember to continue to seek God’s face continually. Jesus prepared a way for us to commune with he and the father and it is in that communion with them that the greatest blessing is found. Then there is great ground for praise and worship.

Direct Dial

Psalm 107: 6

Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble; He delivered them out of their distresses.

I love this passage of scripture. Talk about good news. It is pretty simply, theologically. When we call on the Lord, He rescues us. It is just that simple. Okay, there are two caveats. First, you have to believe it. There is nothing in this realm or the spiritual realm that is going to work for you without belief. You know this to be true. If you think you are dumb, your internal self is going to do everything to prove you right. If you believe you can do a thing, then you can. We have heard this in worldly circles since we were children. This principle is immortalized in the story of the little train that thought he could. So, that is principle one. If you think God will hearken to your voice when you call, then you are right.

Here is my second caveat though. You need to know how you best connect with God. I pick up my Bible and it is like a big pop-up book. God just pops up with whatever I need. You need to know what works for you. Here is a little self-test. I think once you take this test you will see how your internal self operates. So here it is – if you were stranded on an island and desperately needed to connect with the Lord, what method would you employ in seeking him? Would you pray, take the bread and the cup, or commune over the Word? This self-test will show you what you really think will connect you with God most easily. Maybe meditating over a specific scripture that speaks to your heart (maybe even today’s scripture) is what will move you into communion. Perhaps a song elevates your spirit. Here is the key, though, the secret is in finding what moves you into communion with the Father. He is already there waiting for you to connect. You just need to find what works in your heart. If you picture yourself in desperate need, stranded on an island with few to no resources, perhaps you will find what is nearest and dearest to your heart and what triggers that connection for you.

Eternal Prayer

Ephesians 6: 18

With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints.

We, the church, need to become people of prayer. It seems that almost every day there is some tragic bit of news. People are struggling with flooding, mud slides, wildfires and every sort of disaster. I have noticed that when we hear bad news on the TV we are moved by compassion and feel sorrow for people going through rough times. The hearts of many people are truly compassionate and caring. The outpouring for Katrina victims was an example of the good heart in the American people.

And while we can be very generous and kind, there is one thing we can do that will really help all people. We can learn to pray. Now that may sound like drivel or may sound cliché but I find that we do not pray as we might. So many times we have built prayer up in our minds until it has become a Holy Ritual instead of an intimate communication. There is nothing wrong with reverence and holiness in prayer but we also need to have more routine communication with God. I think many times we tell people we will pray for them and we have the very best intentions but then we wait until we can get in our prayer closet or wait for our prayer time. By then we forget who we promised prayer.

As we are drawing close to God and becoming really intimate with him, he becomes not only our God but our best friend. During that process it becomes easier and easier to talk with Him all through the day. This is the kind of prayer that Paul encourages us to in this passage of scripture. We can become so attuned to living a prayer full life that when we see some catastrophe on the news, we immediately say a prayer for the people affected. When you talk with someone on the phone and tell them you will pray for them, you either pray for them right then and there while they are still on the phone with you or you pray as soon as you hang up. We need time alone with God when we are in a very prayerful state but we cannot wait until then for all the prayer that needs to be sent up to heaven. There is too much need. Begin training yourself to pray whenever you perceive a need. The body of Christ needs you and your prayers. The world really needs you.