The Power of Prayer


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This has been an especially terrible week for Bostonians and Americans with terrorism and a freak massive explosion occurring within days of each other.

My heart has cried out especially for those who have lost loved ones and for the injured.

A number of people have mentioned the similarity in the Boston bombings to some of the action in Angelguard; the senseless destruction of innocent lives.


How should we respond?


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“The Way of the Heart”, Henri Nouwen

coverSolitude, silence and prayer.

I purchased this book having spent a number of months seeking to do more of all 3. For too long I’ve thought communing with God was a reflection of how many experiences I have of Him, whatever form they may take. However, I no longer seek the experiences OF Him rather to experience Him.

Nouwen’s reflections of the “Desert Fathers” ( who lived in the Egyptian desert during the 4th and 5th centuries) lifestyle are a wonderful summary of how we can experience more of Him.

At times it was a challenging read as I couldn’t immediately grasp some of the concepts presented, however, sometimes we need to allow ourselves to soak in new ideas so they can in-fill us over time. However, these few words are a great summary of the essence of the book:
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Lent Reflections – Repentance & Restoring Joy

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Photo very graciously supplied by Mary DeMuth

My siblings and I have been helping our parents spring-clean their house. They’re both in their eighties and it never ceases to amaze me how much stuff one can collect over a long life. The house becomes very “full”, especially when you’re not inclined to throw things out, as is the case with my parents.

They have a lot of stuff and I mean a lot.

We’re hopeful they will be able to secure a move to a smaller place in their next two months, in fact we may know as soon as early next week regarding one place mum has her heart set on.

This won’t really be a spring clean, rather a major overhaul with lots and lots of stuff discarded, given to charities and grateful others. Already, a number of trips have been made to the tip as well as one large council pickup.

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Lent – Give up or Take up?


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“So what are you giving up for Lent?”

As I mentioned in my post last week, often it’s this question that dominates discussions around the season of Lent. Yes, if the season involves “spring cleaning of the soul” (I like that expression), then letting go of our junk makes sense.

Fasting is an important aspect of our walks allowing us to let go of our dependence on certain things (food, TV shows, internet, etc) so we can filled by the Lord whilst relying on Him.

But I wondered for myself what is more important is to actually take up a new practice. Last week, I mentioned there were certain areas in my daily routine that I had become undisciplined over, so was not achieving as much as I should be.

The best way to change a bad habit is to replace it with a good one. Isn’t that what they say?

“The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective.” (James 5:16)

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Understanding the Power of Prayer


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I hadn’t planned this post but on watching this video I thought it would be useful to share with you.

I’d like to pray more and be better at it. Often I think there are some special answers or tips to being better at it. So I’ll buy a new book (or a few!) to help me.

But my favourite tip is always, just do it. The best way to learn how to pray is to simply, pray.

And often.

There are days where I find it a chore, which is a bit weird, isn’t it? God wants to engage me in conversation and I brush Him off for something or someone else. Crazy, huh?

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Let go …


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I’ve started most days this year sitting for ten minutes in silence, as part of my new desire to better experience God. If you missed the background for this, please check out this post on “A Word for the Year.”

It has surprised me how difficult it is, not so much being silent, but stopping my thought life. Try it for yourself after you’ve read this post, and see how random thoughts come at you constantly. For those of you experienced in meditation, I expect it’s not as difficult. But I don’t want to clear my mind. Well, only of my thoughts. I want to fill it with God’s thoughts.

“Be still, and know that I am God!” (Ps 46:10 NLT)

The Hebrew word translated “Be still” literally means “Let go of your grip.” Let go of all that preoccupies your mind so you can open yourself up to a whole new kind of knowing.1 A knowing that can only come from God.

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A Word for the Year

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A few weeks ago, Cherie, a Canadian friend of mine, happened to mention in a chat we were having on Facebook that she had identified her word for the next year.

A word for the year?

I vaguely recall other people had mentioned it. I stumbled across a post from one of my favourite bloggers, Ann Voskamp, who adheres to the practice.

I quizzed Cherie a little on its purpose for her, and her response got me thinking. She described it as a marker for defining the year or an attribute one may seek to develop.

I like the idea. I see it as a one-word goal almost. I’m not sure it would necessarily define my year, that is, I’d still set other goals. But I would hope it would have a gentle presence throughout my days.

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“The Prayer of the Lord”, RC Sproul

Photo Credit: Ligonier Ministries

A small book packed full of punch.

Jesus gave us the example for prayer by way of the Lord’s Prayer in Luke and Matthew. RC Sproul provides a powerful insight into each of the verses of this very short prayer. This insight has helped refine my prayer life.

Too often our prayer life can become very self-focused, however, Jesus demonstrates that it should be centred on the glory of God. Praise and adoration can sometimes be difficult. But I find when I start thanking and praising God my heart softens as I turn my attention to Him and off myself.

Then true relationship can commence.

Each verse has its own short chapter that is easy to read.

This is beautifully written and I’ll be encouraging friends to read it.

I rated it 5/5.

Being Thankful

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I’ve been reflecting on thankfulness this week. We don’t celebrate Thanksgiving in Australia, however, it has been hard to ignore with all the messages on social media.

I wish we did celebrate Thanksgiving. It’s very powerful to stop, be still for a few moments, at least, and reflect on what we are thankful for. In doing this we cease thinking about ourselves as we put our mind to God, to other people, or to simply to something else, depending on what we believe.

Praying with a thankful heart

One key lesson I’ve learnt this year is the power of thanking God as I go through my day. Earlier in the year I read a marvellous book, “One Thousand Gifts” by Ann Voskamp, that opened my eyes to the extraordinary power that a thankful and grateful heart brings to our life.

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Praying like Jesus

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It’s been too long since my last post and for that I apologise.

Let’s quickly re-cap where we are. A few weeks ago I raised the notion of loving and trusting God with our “all” as the Bible repeatedly exhorts.

How do we do that, I asked?

Follow the one who came as our example: Jesus.

Taking instruction from Dann Spader’s excellent workbook: “Walking as Jesus Walked” we identified the 6 elements to intimacy with the Father, which you can find here.

Last time we explored the significance of child-like dependency  and now let’s address prayer.

There is so much we can talk about on the topic of prayer but I wanted to highlight only a couple of aspects in today’s post.

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