(Confusion alert: this makes perfect sense to me. But having proof read it for errors, I am not sure how much sense it makes to you about to read this. I worry about stuff like that. This morning He shrugged His shoulders: “Let Me do the heavy lifting Paul – you heard Me good.” So if neither of us “get through” as you read this – do let Him know! 🙂 )
Being a Christian: V1
Carry my cross. Carry my burden. Deny yourself for Me. Do not do this – do not do that – stop enjoying this – stop enjoying that …
Being a Christian: V2
My cross is light. My burden is light. Don’t deny yourself for Me. Do do this – do do that – keep enjoying this – keep enjoying that …
Being a Christian: V3
Define your “cross” with Him. Define you “burden” with Him. Redefine your behaviours and wants with Him. Redefine your behaviours and wants towards others with Him.
Being a Christian: V4
Forget all that “must and must not stuff”. Forget all the “behaviours and wants” stuff. Get close to the God within – and get closer every day – and closer still – and then so close you are One. Now try and screw-over yourself or anyone else.
Then Jesus told his disciples, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit them if they gain the whole world but forfeit their life? Or what will they give in return for their life? “For the Son of Man is to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay everyone for what has been done. Truly I tell you, there are some standing here who will not taste death before they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.” Matthew 16:24-28
Now let’s talk “Prayers of Intercession”.
Go to Sunday church and all “V” versions do this. I have joined in prayer for a “whole region”. I have joined in prayer for “all who are at war”. I have prayed for “all who are prisoners”. And I have joined in prayer for “Susie Smith” who faces a hip operation.
Now let’s talk prayer.
Books have been written on “how to be a good pray-er”, how to be a pray-er warrior, how to connect, how to get results, how to chart results, how to …
I am not a huge fan of “pray-er” as a technique, or a skill, or a burden, or a cross. I am not a huge fan of “corporate pray-er” nor of “corporate pray-er leaders”. Nor am I fan of the prayers in church which are choreographed: “When I say XY and Z, you all say EF and G”.
It always falls into V1 and V2 (and maybe even V3) for me. Disconnecting rather than connecting. Until yesterday.
When someone gave me this.
When you pray you give your heartbeats, your own breath, your very own life in those moments. When you pray for others you are sacrificing yourself for them in those moments. You are sacrificing your own life to God for “them” in those moments. You might or might not know “them” personally. Yet in trust, in complete faith that He is listening, that He cares, that He Loves – you bring your sacrifice in Love. And Love connects.
And then they added: In almost every occasion in the Gospels – either the person themselves (or someone who loved them) asked Jesus for help. Do you think God Soft Hands Jesus likes being asked?
And then they added: The lady who was bleeding. She touched Jesus’ cloak. And in the middle of a chaotic crowd pressing in on Him and the disciples, Jesus stopped and asked “Who touched me?” She “stole power” without asking. And Jesus had to make it “right with her” – allow her to “know” that was okay and that she was healed. He had to ask her to reveal herself there and then – or else she would forever more have doubted.
I asked if I could write that up. They said “yes, of course.” I said thank you.
The closer I walk with My God, the more I allow Him within, the more I feel at one with One – the less I need long wordy words in “prayer”. The more I finesse in prayer: make us enough tonight … Lord so and so has a problem … thanks Lord. More and more I find Him reminding me of “mundane stuff” through the day … thanks Lord. The more I know and trust “He has this covered” the less I beg. Because if He “has it covered” – what does begging add (other than I don’t really trust you Lord)?
But you know what … ?
Even though He indwells within, even though I am possessed of Him … I like Him to ask rather than tell (or not even tell – but just “expect” of me). Love allows rather than demands – desires rather than expects. I couldn’t love Him any other way. I get the “sacredness” we each have – whether or not we call ourselves a “Christian” V1 – V4. Yet I still like Him to ask. I don’t think I am unique in that.
So if we are His unique creations – just where did I get that from?
I don’t think God cares too much about how we label ourselves. Unless our love of labels is greater than our love for each other and Him. I don’t think Love cares too much about details like that – unless it gets in the way of Love itself. I like being asked. And I think He does too. Call it what you want –
And when we ask, we are each giving Him our heartbeats, breath and life. Life and time we will not get back in our “lifetime”. Is it just me, or does that grab you too and make you go ”Wow”?